Consumer electronics is truly the toughest area for American consumer product manufacturing. While other consumer goods areas (Apparel, shoes, and toys) have very high levels of import market share, you can still attire yourself and fill a home with nothing but American made products. Not so with consumer electronics. So I was very pleased to read a short article at the website of a TV station in California about Element Electronics and their plan to build flat screen TVs at a new factory in Detroit, Michigan. No other company is making TVs in this country.
The owner of Element Electronics was quoted in the post set forth above. “This was also an emotional decision for the company, maybe even a patriotic choice,” explains Mike O’Shaughnessy, President of Element Electronics. “Element Electronics is an American company. Personally, I grew up in a small, blue-collar Ohio town. Our business is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are rooted in the Midwest. We have watched for years as jobs have left America for other countries. We have wanted to and planned for producing TV’s here, at home. Element Electronics wants to pioneer a resurgence of creating quality manufacturing jobs in the USA.”
As a result of Element Electronics’ decision to make TVs here, over a hundred members of our extended American family will be bringing home a paycheck. Element Electronics made the decision to bring production back to this country because doing so shortens its supply chain and related lead times, allows it to be more responsive to American consumers, and allows it to reduce waste. Element Electronics believes it can improve the quality of its’ flat panel TVs by making them in America and plans to sell the HDTVs that it will produce at the Michigan plant for “essentially the same prices” as those made in China. Let’s hope that Element Electronic’s decision to reshore it production is the beginning of a trend in consumer electronics.