Lenovo to start up small PC assembly factory in U.S.

“Chinese computer-maker Lenovo Group Ltd. will start manufacturing PCs in North Carolina next year. Company executives said the effort, starting with only a few million dollars and just over 100 workers, will be the beginning of something bigger, rather than a one-time made-in-America publicity effort,” Juro Osawa reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The world’s No. 2 personal-computer maker says the PC production line now being built at a facility in Whitsett, N.C., will allow the company to become more responsive to U.S. corporate clients’ demand for flexible supplies and product customization,” Osawa reports. “Although the cost of U.S. production will be higher compared with overseas production, an added benefit will be to raise Lenovo’s profile in the U.S., where it ranks fourth in market share by shipment.”

Osawa reports, “While the investment is tiny for Lenovo, whose revenue was nearly $30 billion in the most recent fiscal year, it is a symbolic move for the company that rose to international prominence when it bought the PC business of International Business Machines Corp. in 2005. And with its new production line in North Carolina, Lenovo will stand apart from its U.S. rivals — No. 1 PC maker Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Apple Inc. — which no longer make personal computers in the U.S. Lenovo executives said the new production line isn’t a temporary publicity stunt. ‘I believe this is the first of many steps to increase our production capability,’ Mr. Schmoock said. ‘I’m very, very bullish about what I can get out of this facility.'”

“The new production line will be located near the company’s U.S. headquarters outside of Raleigh, N.C.,” Osawa reports. “Unemployment in the area has remained stubbornly high, with the jobless rate in the county at 10% compared with the national rate of 8.1%. The factory isn’t far from the site of the last Dell PC factory in the U.S., which closed in 2010.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll see if this is just a PR stunt or not with time. If not, the pressure will certainly ratchet up on Apple CEO Cook regarding U.S. assembly.


  1. ““While the investment is tiny for Lenovo, whose revenue was nearly $30 billion in the most recent fiscal year”

    LOL, I love how they cherry pick the most-flattering description. While Lenovo had almost $30B in sales last fiscal year, they only made $473M, or less than $10 per computer sold.

    The Dell factory in Winston-Salem had about 2000 employees, a 100-employee factory is not going to be anything more than a PR stunt.

    1. So be it but US companies will need to play along and that includes Apple. Apple is well aware of Lenovo and probably ranks them very near the top in their war room schematic of serious competitors.

  2. Lets see……a $100m dollar publicity campaign lasting a month OR 100 employees for $10m plus a small factory doing mainly packaging (and as little as possible of anything else) for $90m lasting a year. Hmmm…..which one?

  3. Finding 100 production line workers and some supervisors to assemble a few PCs… No Problem!

    Finding 10’s of thousands of workers, thousands of engineers, and a factory with the capability to assemble millions of iphones and other Apple products… Where would that be possible in the US? Even if Apple decided to do it themselves, it would take years, maybe decades to develop the work force with the necessary capabilities to accomplish this task. Apple can’t do this alone. It would take communities with vision and a sufficiently large and educated work force, partnerships with universities to turn out more engineers with the appropriate skill set, and land, lots of land. I’m agreeing with Stever Jobs, these jobs aren’t coming back. And it’s not Apple’s fault that the US has not invested in the necessary infrastructure to support such a huge manufacturing operation. Intrastructure investment requires a long term vision and financial support from government… which politicians seem to be incapable of understanding. However, they are very good at blaming others.

    1. Good points, but Apple is not going to build a plant in the US – the expertise to do that is no longer in the company. HOWEVER, I want to be the first to predict that within the next 18 months that Foxconn will announce a joint venture (maybe with Apple, but it doesn’t really matter who) to create an assembly plant in the US that will turn-out Apple products. To a large degree this will be a PR stunt – its builders will be proud of its small carbon footprint and its high-tech robots – but some number of Americans will be employed there and it will serve as an interesting engineering experiment on whether US assembly can be done affordably.

  4. So the headline is unclear. Is Lenovo going to build a small assembly plant? Or, are they going to manufacture small PCs?

    I don’t know how anyone is going to type on one. Just sayin…

    1. Are you serious to sick? People like you cause failures. SJ would have you barred from posting on any webiste if he was alive today and read this crap! Apple is on a 5 year positive run after 31 years of all out crap so they know that losing market share and shareholder confidence is always a daily cycle away if you are not on top of it.

  5. call it a conspiracy or not, but there is a more and more visible effort on the part of ‘governments’ or maybe ‘banksters’ to ‘create’ conditions in suitable developed countries, where the segments of the populace are ‘forced’ or ‘enjoined’ to accept much lower wages. Why? China is on the way up and the West is on the way down. For ‘global corporate’ to maintain their profits, wages have to come down and now they have a far more compliant peoples in the EU, USA and other developed countries. Call it swings and roundabouts, but it all keeps the plebs in their place, working their socks off to feed the kids and the mortgage. You think the USA is immune to all this? Think again.

  6. If you pause, for a minute, and take a longer-term view, you will see that manufacturing must, and will, return to the USA, even for Apple. The main driver for this is the necessity for the US to rebuild its manufacturing sector, to provide employment, replacing those jobs that have been off-shored. Wages are increasing in China, and (as the iPhone 5 leaks graphically demonstrate) maintaining secrecy is impossible when your supply chain is out of your direct control. With the launch of the iPhone, Apple did the impossible – entering an established market from scratch and achieving pre-eminence almost instantly. To do this, Apple had to use third party manufacturing. However, as you will have noticed, Apple is increasingly bringing technologies in-house – most notably with the A6 and, of course, Maps. Apple will continue to chip away at outsourced capabilities, bringing more and more in-house and using that capability to increase Apple’s IP, security, and profitability. If, or when, the US government decides to wind back off-shoring, Apple will be well-placed to respond because they have the cash to build a supply chain at home. Its a huge job, so don’t expect an overnight change to domestic manufacture, but watch Apple target iPhone componentry and technologies one by one over the next few years, and bring this IP back to the US.

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