Is The Time Right for Copiers to be Made in The USA Again?

 

If you've been in the copier industry as long as I have, then you'll remember that Xerox and Kodak manufactured copiers in United States. In later years Kodak removed themselves from the SMB market for copiers and Xerox finally succumbed to outsourcing their copier manufacturing to Fuji-Xerox.

In a recent press release HP stated they wanted to reinvent the $55 billion dollar copier industry.  Since, I'm looking for numbers, I figured the evaluation of the entire copier industry was a good place to start. I did some research for the latest numbers for US imports, however the only document I could find was from 2008 from USITC.  In 2008 the US imported 33% of the MFP's that were manufactured.  Thus, if the US market is still at 33% (which I doubt) and HP's numbers are correct that would out the US import market at $18.15 billion dollars.  That's a pretty big number.

Now, I don't have exact numbers, but thinking a pretty large percentage of those devices are manufactured in China. 

In recent days, I've heard much news about the Trump trade doctrine  and the unfair trade practices of China.  Peter Navaro went on to state the likes of currency manipulation, illegal export subsidies and the theft of intellectual property in a recent interview with Paul Solman.

In a nutshell Trump wants to stop China from cheating and negotiate new trade deals. My takeaway from the article is that if Trump can't bring China around he'll slap a 45% tariff on Chinese goods. Not sure if that's good or bad for the copier industry.

Recent rumors have Foxconn (they recently purchased Sharp) is mulling a $7 billion joint investment with Apple to set establish a display manufacturing plant here in the US.

All of this got me to the point where maybe it is time to start manufacturing copiers aka multi-functional products in the US again.  Corporate taxes are going to be slashed,  and I believe their is a tremendous market for copiers made in the USA. 

Why can't Foxconn manufacture their Sharp copiers here in the United States? If they can do it with display manufacturing plant, then they can do it with copiers.

Back in 2002 I was lucky enough to be able to visit a couple of Ricoh's manufacturing plants.  One was for high volume A3 devices (50-75ppm devices).  There's no rocket science involved to assembling copiers.  From what I saw, most of the parts were not manufactured by Ricoh.  Ricoh engineers and designs the products/parts, and then relies on sub contractors to produce those parts.  Those parts are then sent to the Ricoh facility and that's where the assembly takes place.  Easy, peasy, that can be done here in the US.  In addition the likes of Ricoh, Canon, and Xerox all have consumable factories here in the US. I'm thinking we might as well make it a party and have everything made here in the USA.

Thus, with all of the talk about bringing back manufacturing jobs, possible tariffs for Chinese goods. I'm one who thinks that some copier manufacturing can come back to the US, and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that US businesses would pay a premium for copiers made in the US. 

What do you think?

-=Good Selling=-

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Comments (7)

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You are deplorable my friend!!!!!




Thank you,
Have a Great Day!

Thomas Koenig
District Business Manager
Dealer Division - Northeast Region

RICOH USA, INC.
5 Dedrick Place
West Caldwell, NJ 07006
Cell: 570-439-2864
Thomas.Koenig@ricoh-usa.com

MichaelP16

That's some awesome insight about manufacturing in Asia.  We can build cars here in the US and brands like Ford, GM and Chrysler are now profitable. Even the Japanese have factories here for cars.    You never know!  Ty for the post

I used to be in the manufacturing of Servers for HP (working for a Contractor to them). Eventually, we lost the contract to a competitor, in another state, because their labor was going to be $2 a machine less. This of course builds up with thousands of units. Eventually, the whole contract went first to Mexico, then to Singapore (we were already getting most of our sub-assemblies from Singapore anyway), and eventually to China. I went for one state to the other, then almost went to Mexico (I almost went to Singapore for HP, but my wife shot down the initial cost of living move to Cupertino -- this is 2000). I visited Singapore and met the engineers. In fact, I still have friends among there, even though some of them work for Asus or Flex or Foxconn. The moral of the story here is that the machines were not build any better in China than in the US. What the manufacturer was chasing was value. They wanted to build the best product at the cheapest value.

Eventually, it comes down to this: Where can you do this?

That means that one of two things has to change: Either worker salaries (up and down the whole organization) have to come way down to once again become competitive with China... (This is the Globalization Agenda).

OR,

Huge trade barriers, including tariffs have to be imposed on everything coming in from Mexico and China.

You pick.

Having worked in supply, design, manufacturing and now sales, I can tell you, most people would be uncomfortable slashing their paycheck in order for a product to remain competitive.

So, tariffs and a trade war it is then....

Lots of manufacturers used to make the claim assembled in the US, Ricoh and Xerox in particular. I would very much welcome marketing products not made in China Singapore, Thailand and the like- we have lots of capable workers here in the US. The big question is- how much of a premium will be tacked on?

I wonder if there is a preferred supplier of copiers to the Trump organization?  Any arm twisting would likely start there. 

With the USA's withdrawal from the TPP, a relocation of the copier industry seems unlikely.

Multiple copier manufacturers already produce their toner in the USA.

Living in Canada, with the high US $, a copier produced in the USA would be a distinct disadvantage.

I am reasonably certain that the USA is the largest market for copiers in the world.

Perhaps. Tax abatements. New administration lending support. Re open Saxon in Miami Lakes. Lol Anything is possible. Automate Manu process with today's technology. Someone should investigate thoroughly. Why not. Incent buyers to buy America.. Been done before. Keep me posted. 

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