Impact & Expertise

Press Releases

  • September 24, 2013
  • Majority of Large Manufacturers Are Now Planning or Considering ‘Reshoring’ from China to the U.S.

  • A Survey by The Boston Consulting Group Finds That the Share of U.S.-Based Executives Actively Engaged in the Process of Shifting Production Has Doubled Since Early 2012


CHICAGO, September 24, 2013—More than half of U.S.-based manufacturing executives at companies with sales greater than $1 billion are planning to bring back production to the U.S. from China or are actively considering it, according to a new survey by The Boston Consulting Group.

The share of executives who are planning to “reshore” or are considering it rose to 54 percent, compared with 37 percent of executives who responded to a similar BCG survey in February 2012. The new survey, conducted last month, elicited responses from more than 200 decision makers at companies across a broad range of industries. Virtually all of the companies manufacture in the U.S. and overseas and make products for both U.S. and non-U.S. consumption.

The survey also found a sharp increase in the percentage of executives who are actively engaged in the process of shifting production to the U.S. When asked whether they expect to move production in light of rising wages in China, 21 percent of respondents—around twice as many as in 2012—said they are “actively doing this” or that they “will move production to the U.S. in the next two years.”

The increase in willingness to reshore supports earlier BCG findings that are part of the firm’s Made in America, Again series, produced by its Operations and Global Advantage practices. The series explores the shifting economics of global manufacturing and how the changes are starting to favor the production of certain goods in the U.S.

In a report released in August, Behind the American Export Surge: The U.S. as One of the Developed World’s Lowest-Cost Manufacturers, BCG projected that production reshored from China and higher exports due to improved U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing could create 2.5 million to 5 million American factory and related service jobs by 2020.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve projected an improvement in U.S. manufacturing competitiveness by 2015 that would help drive an American manufacturing revival,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a BCG senior partner and a coauthor of the study. “The results of our latest survey make clear that a profound shift in attitude is beginning.”

The top three factors cited as driving future decisions on production locations were labor costs (cited by 43 percent of respondents), proximity to customers (35 percent), and product quality (34 percent). More than 80 percent of respondents cited at least one of these reasons as a key factor. Other leading factors include access to skilled labor, transportation costs, supply-chain lead time, and ease of doing business.

“The wide range of reasons executives cite for shifting production shows that companies are becoming more sophisticated in their understanding of all the factors that must be considered when deciding where to manufacture,” said Michael Zinser, a BCG partner who leads the firm’s manufacturing work in the Americas. “When you look at the total cost of production for many goods, the U.S. appears increasingly attractive.”

“These findings confirm that the reshoring trend is more than anecdotal,” said Justin Rose, a BCG partner who along with Sirkin and Zinser is a coauthor of The US Manufacturing Renaissance: How Shifting Global Economics Are Creating an American Comeback (Knowledge@Wharton, 2012). “As the costs and benefits become more apparent, we expect more companies to consider manufacturing in the U.S. if their products are to be consumed in the U.S.”

To arrange an interview with a BCG expert, please contact David Fondiller at 212 446 3257 or at fondiller.david@bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com

Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content—including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports—can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 82 offices in 46 countries.

Recent Releases

  • May 28, 2015 A New Global Divide: More Than Half of the World’s Population Lives in Countries That Are Falling Behind in Sustainable Development view full release
  • May 28, 2015 BCG Acquires Purpose-Driven Consulting Pioneer BrightHouse view full release
  • May 21, 2015 Leadership at All Levels of South Africa Is Needed to Address Four Key Social and Economic Problems view full release
  • May 11, 2015 Beleaguered Investment Banks Facing Uphill Battle view full release
  • May 01, 2015 The Internet Now Contributes 10 Percent of GDP to the UK Economy, Surpassing the Manufacturing and Retail Sectors view full release
  • April 30, 2015 The Boston Consulting Group Launches Institute in Honor of Founder Bruce Henderson's 100th Birthday view full release
  • April 30, 2015 Striking Gap Between Where Brazil's Leading Retailers Operate Now and Where Consumer Demand Will Be in the Future view full release
  • April 28, 2015 A New Study Explores the Link Between European Railway Performance and Allocation of Public Subsidies view full release
  • April 28, 2015 Mexico Is Ready for a Takeoff in Consumer Spending, Powered by Rapid Growth in Middle-Income Households view full release
  • April 23, 2015 Growing, Shifting Digital Use in India Means Big Changes for Marketers and Media Companies view full release

Accelerating Out of the Great Recession

Accelerating Out of the Great RecessionThis book details what high-performing companies must do to seize advantage in a slow-growth environment. more

BCG Offices

Globe BCG has more than 80 offices around the world. Learn about our global presence.
Go

Social Impact

We are compelled to utilize our expertise to work with humanitarian organizations that impact local communities and the world at large. More