Chinese computer giant Lenovo is about to do something that will differentiate it from its competitors in a very important way: It’s going to build PCs in the United States. And this move isn’t symbolic, Lenovo claims. It’s the first step in a long-term plan to better serve customers in their own countries.
“[This move] defies a trend that has seen electronics manufacturing jobs migrate overseas for more than two decades,” the firm noted in a statement. “The US PC production line is the latest investment in Lenovo’s aggressive strategy to expand its in-house manufacturing capabilities around the world.” The move will also help Lenovo be more environmentally responsible.
Lenovo is expanding a North Carolina order-fulfillment and distribution center to manufacture ThinkPad and ThinkCentre computers that will be sold to US customers. This will help the firm ship heavily customized products to customers more quickly, Lenovo notes, and it's the first in a series of planned manufacturing centers in major markets.
According to Lenovo, the cost of manufacturing PCs in the United States will be only “slightly higher” than doing so in its current facilities in China and Mexico.
Lenovo is the number-two PC maker in the world behind HP but ahead of Dell, Acer, and ASUS. None of these companies manufacture PCs in the United States, however. Neither does Apple, whose hardware products all bear a proud “Designed by Apple in California” logo. But they’re all made in China, as are most consumer electronics products and PCs.
Lenovo’s US manufacturing facility is currently under construction and expected to open early next year. The firm received no local or state incentives to expand in this fashion, it said.