It wasn’t long ago that the thought of corporations bringing their manufacturing back to the U.S. seemed all but impossible. But that’s precisely what’s happening, and the trend is predicted to continue through the rest of the decade.
Consider Kent International, one of the largest U.S.-based bicycle manufacturers. The company, with headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey, has been making its bikes overseas for more than 20 years. But with Chinese labor costs rising over the past several years, the company began to consider whether it made financial sense to bring some of that production back to the U.S. In the fall, Kent’s new manufacturing facility will open in Clarendon County, South Carolina. According to the company, it will invest $4.5 million in the plant over the next three years and hire 175 workers capable of turning out roughly 500,000 bikes a year.
American companies have been offshoring their manufacturing for decades as a way to take advantage of low wages in places like China, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. But now a growing number of them, like Kent International, are rethinking that formula and are bringing at least some of their manufacturing back to the U.S.