Chinese computer maker Lenovo will build a manufacturing line in Whitsett, N.C., near Greensboro in an effort to further tap the U.S. market, the company said earlier this month.
The move underscores a growing trend of foreign and domestic manufacturers relocating in the United States or in the hemisphere to be able to reach U.S. consumers more quickly and reliably, be more responsive to service issues, reduce transportation costs, take advantage of the dollar's low value for exports, and hire skilled workers as the gap in labor rates for workers in America and other countries narrows. Companies in emerging economies are also beginning to branch out to become global firms and looking to expand production capacity outside their borders.
Lenovo said it will build its Think notebooks, desktops, tablets, engineering workstations and servers at the plant, which will employ 115 people.
“Lenovo is establishing a U.S. manufacturing base because we believe in the long-term strength of the American PC market and our own growth opportunities here,” Lenovo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yuanqing Yang said in a statement. “As Lenovo expands globally, we are establishing even deeper roots in each major market. In addition to localized sales and marketing teams, in our major countries we are establishing an even stronger manufacturing footprint, investing in R&D and ensuring that we hire top local talent. This global reach with local excellence helps us become even faster, more innovative and more responsive to our customers around the world.”
The new PC assembly line is currently under construction and slated to open early next year, Lenovo said. It will reside within Lenovo's recently expanded 240,000-square foot distribution center in Whitsett.
During the past two years, Lenovo has also invested in Brazil.
For more analysis about how companies in the United States are rethinking their sourcing options, see the American Shipper
June cover story "Right Shoring
" and the companion piece "Manufacturers shift from all-China strategy
." - Eric Kulisch