Mike O'Shaughnessy says it feels good to be part of the resurgence of American assembly and manufacturing. Even though the television set is commonplace in the American home, good luck finding one that is made in America. You'd have to travel back in time a couple of decades to find production of a fully American-made set, to the days when you could buy an American-made Zenith.
As CEO and founder of Element Electronics, O'Shaughnessy is hoping to change that. This month, the company started assembly of large screen televisions in its Canton, Mich., factory. Although the labor costs are higher here than overseas, O'Shaughnessy says that due to lower tariffs and transportation costs, it makes economic sense to assemble their larger sets here.
They're starting small -- just one assembly line at present -- but interest is big. Target, Wal-Mart, Costco and QVC have already placed orders, and the line is sold out to the end of the year. Appearing under the Element Electronics brand, these 46-inch and 50-inch American-assembled sets will arrive in stores beginning in mid-May.