After the Cleveland CycleWerks article, many of you were less than pleased to see motorcycles produced in China for far less than could be manufactured here in the US, especially when, for various reasons, the company found production here almost impossible. It's a complex issue, about which I'll have more to say later, but it was interesting to see this article in the New York Times about TechShop. One sentence caught my eye and it was relevant to our discussion.
We've mentioned TechShop before, a place where you can become a member for $100 per month and have access to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment to make things, sort of a "doer's" club. But this is what I found interesting:
One of the company’s $17,000 lathes, for example, used to cost $250,000. (It seems that China has a knack for lowering not only the price of finished goods but also the equipment needed to produce them, Mr. Hatch says.)
So yes, the Chinese are producing products for less than we can, but they're making tools far more affordable, too. If there's anything most of us can appreciate, it's more affordable tools. Do the benefits outweigh the costs? As I mentioned above, it's a complex issue.
Link: New York Times
Photo: Jim Wilson/The New York Times