Electronics Production | July 12, 2010
U.S. Manufacturing <em>Isn’t</em> a Thing of the Past
Many think “Made in the U.S.A.” is becoming a hard label to find on manufactured products. In its most recent position paper, Turner Investment Partners disagrees, saying that U.S. manufacturing naysayers are either checking the wrong labels or unaware of current manufacturing trends.
In a position paper, entitled U.S. manufacturing: still the one -- written by Chris McHugh, vice chairman and senior portfolio manager; Bill McVail, senior portfolio manager/security analyst; Robb Parlanti, senior portfolio manager/security analyst; and Frank Sustersic, senior portfolio manager/security analyst -- the authors assert their view that “...the state of U.S. manufacturing is quite healthy and appears likely to remain so for a long time to come.” The paper acknowledges trends that encourage the misconception that U.S. manufacturing is on the verge of extinction, but the authors make the case that manufacturing in the U.S. is only changing, not dying. A few of those changes include fewer jobs being generated and more high-end products being made. The paper presents 15 U.S.-based companies in various market sectors that possess qualities of a successful manufacturing company: “first-rate management, fundamentals, innovativeness, and product quality:” • A123 Systems, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and WMS Industries in the consumer sectors; • First Solar, Johnson Controls, and United States Steel in the cyclical sectors; • DePuy, Stryker, and Zimmer in the health-care sector; • Caterpillar, PulteGroup, and Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates in the producer-durables sector; and • Intel, Micron Technology, and Plexus in the technology sector. The authors point out that these 15 companies are just a sliver of an industry that, in their view, is very much alive: approximately 286,000 manufacturing firms currently operate in the U.S. and produce 22% of global manufacturing output, the largest percentage of any country.