At the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), we'd love to see a wave of manufacturing jobs reshored in 2014. Well, in 2013, five products caught AAM's collective eye. Why? Their production in the United States proves, at the very least, that electronics can be made in the USA and we shouldn't simply accept the idea that they can't.
Google's Moto X smartphone
After years of AAM asking why Apple won't make its iPhone in the United States, we were thrilled when Google announced it would make its own smartphone in Texas. The Moto X is customizable; buyers can build their own phone through the website. But not only was this phone innovated by the minds at Google out in California, it was made by the fine manufacturers of Texas. Kudos, Google.
Back in 2011, Element Electronics announced it would make flat screen, LCD TVs in Detroit. When those TVs hit store shelves, we grabbed a couple for our office. And we were thrilled to learn in September that the company will be expanding, creating even more jobs, this time in South Carolina.
Lenovo tablets and laptops
Laptop and tablet maker Lenovo announced toward the end of 2012 that it would begin manufacturing some of its products in North Carolina. Six months later, the company said it was adding another 115 jobs. Add 'tablets' and 'laptops' to the list of high-tech products American manufacturers are prepared to make.
Apple Mac Pro
It's been slightly over a year since Apple announced it would bring some production back to the United States. (Hmm … maybe Google wasn't the only one listening to AAM …) Since then, Apple has made sure America didn't forget its commitment to American-made products. In October, Apple released a video sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new product that went on sale in December. The icing on the Apple cake? In November, the tech giant announced it would create another 2,000 jobs at a plant in Arizona where parts for Apple products will be made.
Tesla has been around for awhile, but 2013 was a huge year for the American-made car company. Despite the best efforts of some in the auto industry lobby to thwart the company, Tesla paid off all its loans back in June, nine years early. Not long after, Wired magazine provided a behind-the-scenes tour of the Tesla factory, and in November the company closed out the year big — receiving the highest owner-satisfaction score for an automobile given by Consumer Reports in years.
We must, of course, temper your optimism. While these companies are doing great work, the road to a manufacturing renaissance is long and full of obstacles.