November 22, 2013: Congratulations to Tesla and a look ahead

Posted by LDonia on 11/22/2013

Happy Friday, everyone.

It seems congratulations are in order! No, not for making it to Friday. Congratulations are due to the Tesla company. It seems the American automaker has gone and earned itself quite the accolade: a very high score in the Consumer Reports Owner-Satisfaction survey.

Reporting for Reuters, Deepa Seetharaman writes:

‘Owners of the Tesla Model S gave it the highest owner-satisfaction score Consumer Reports has seen in years: 99 out of 100,’ the magazine said.

Kudos to Tesla, a company that has shown an exceptional dedication to American manufacturing.

From the irony files: One company seems to be synonymous with American outsourcing. That company, of course, is Foxconn. So it seems a little bit painfully ironic that Foxconn has announced an investment in … you guessed it … the United States! Brian Wingfield & Romy Varghese covered the announcement for Bloomberg. They elaborate on the details:

Foxconn flagship company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317) will invest $30 million over two years to build a high-tech manufacturing facility for goods including components for telecommunications equipment and Internet servers, said Terry Gou, the founder and chairman of Foxconn. It will also fund $10 million worth of research and development at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, he said at an event in Washington yesterday.

Foxconn will invest in a manufacturing unit in Harrisburg, the state capital, to create about 500 jobs, according to a company statement. It already has a manufacturing facility there that employs about 30 people.

We’re hoping the Pennsylvania facility will have better labor standards.

Heading into next week, there are a number of stories your friends at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) will be keeping their collective eye on:

  • Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) released his ideas for corporate tax reform this week. Writing in the New York Times’ Dealbook, Professor Victor Fleischer detailed the significance of one component of Baucus’s plan: cost recovery. A change in approach to cost recovery would most likely have a direct impact on manufacturers, so AAM will be watching this closely.
  • Tim Catts, Peter Robison and Ilan Kolet write in Bloomberg about the record profits of American manufacturing companies … companies that may be reaping these profits, in part, by asking concessions from their workers. In fact, as the writers point out, manufacturing wages have not kept pace with inflation.
  • Reuters reports that new unemployment claims dropped significantly last week while factory activity hit an eight-month high. Color us skeptical. The jobs numbers still don’t drop for another two weeks, and we’re not convinced the United States is out of the woods in terms of the damage inflicted by the whole government shutdown debacle … so we’ll see what the jobs numbers have to say.
  • This time next year, we may be talking about a new global climate treaty. International delegates met this week in Warsaw to discuss such a treaty and, according to David Jolly and Chris Buckley at the New York Times, initial reports suggest that China is amenable to cooperating and making some positive changes. This is, of course, noteworthy because China recently passed the United States as the world’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

AAM bid adieu to the 2013 FABTECH expo in Chicago yesterday. Be sure to check out our coverage, including some great videos of vendor demos from the exhibitor area!

And in case you forgot:

There’s more to the monthly jobs report than just numbers. There are people behind the data, and their stories deserve to be heard. Do you have one to tell? Have you – or your friends, family, or neighbors – started looking for work recently? Have you stopped? Send in your jobs report to info [at] aamfg [dot] org, tweet it to us at @keepitmadeinUSA, or contact us via Facebook. And read the ever-updating report right here.

Enjoy your weekend, America.

-AAM

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