Category Archives: China

Leading Manufacturing Countries from 2000 to 2010: China, USA…

chart showing leading manufacturing countries output from 2000-2010

Chart of manufacturing production by the top 10 manufacturing countries (2000 to 2010). The chart was created by the Curious Cat Economics Blog. You may use the chart with attribution. All data is shown in 2010 USD (United States Dollar).

Over the years I have been posting data on the manufacturing output of leading countries. In 2010 China finally overtook the USA to becoming the leading manufacturer (long after you would have thought listening to many news sources and political leaders). In a previous post on the Curious Cat Economics Blog I looked at the output of the top 10 manufacturing countries with a focus on 1980 to 2010.

In 1995 the USA was actually very close to losing the lead to Japan (though you wouldn’t think it looking at the recent data). I believe China will be different, I believe China is going to build on their lead. There has been some talk for several years of manufacturing moving out of China seeking lower cost countries. The data doesn’t support any decline in Chinese manufacturing (or significant moves away from China toward other South-East Asian countries). Indonesia has grown quickly (and is the largest SE Asian manufacturing country), but their total manufacturing output is less than China grew by per year for the last 5 years.

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Marketplace Looks at the Apple Economy

Marketplace looks at the Apple economy in China. Marketplace is an excellent source of actual journalism; rare in the post Bill Moyers days, sadly.

A look inside a Foxconn factory

The first misconception I had about Foxconn’s Longhua facility in the city of Shenzhen was that I’ve always called it a ‘factory’ — technically, it is. But after you enter the gates and walk around, you quickly realize that it’s also a city — 240,000 people work here. Nearly 50,000 of them live on campus in shared dorm rooms. There’s a main drag lined on both sides with fast-food restaurants, banks, cafes, grocery stores, a wedding photo shop, and an automated library. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, a gym, two enormous swimming pools, and a bright green astroturf soccer stadium smack-dab in the middle of campus. There’s a radio station — Voice of Foxconn — and a television news station. Longhua even has its own fire department, located right on main street. This is not what comes to mind when you think “Chinese factory.”

Yet it is: as you walk beyond the civic center of Longhua, the buildings begin to change.

From a management perspective there is a great deal to be desired in Apple’s manufacturing practices. The economic perspective however, for me, provides a much different picture than those in rich countries (USA, Europe, Singapore, Japan…) often feel.

The jobs provide workers a chance to earn what for them is a great deal of money. Yes the conditions are harsh – I wouldn’t want to have to work there. But I am pretty sure I would not be happier, if I lived in China, and everything else remained the same in China except now all the Apple products were made in Singapore, USA and Spain.

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2010 Deming Prize

image of the Deming Prize medal

The Union Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) has awarded the Deming Prize to 4 companies in 2010: Corona Corporation (Japan), Meidoh (Japan), GC Dental (China) and National Engineering Industries Limited (India).

Organizations receiving the Deming Prize since 2000 by country (prior to that almost all winners were from Japan):

Country Prizes
India 16
Thailand 9
Japan 7
USA 1
Singapore 1
China 1

This is the first time a Chinese company has won a Deming Prize. The parent company, GC Dental (Japan), was awarded the Deming Prize in 2000 and the Japan Quality Medal in 2004.

The 2010 Deming Prize for Individuals went to Dr. Takao Enkawa, Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Previous recipients include: Kaoru Ishikawa, Genichi Taguchi, Shoichiro Toyoda, Hitoshi Kume and Noriaki Kano.

Related: 2009 Deming Prize2008 Deming Prize: Tata SteelDeming Prize 20072006 Deming Prize
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California Uses More Gas than China

Amazing Stat: California Uses More Gas than China:

California alone uses more gasoline than any country in the world (except the US as a whole, of course). That means California’s 20 billion gallon gasoline and diesel habit is greater than China’s! (Or Russia’s. Or India’s. Or Brazil’s. Or Germany’s.)

That’s according to the California Energy Commission’s State Alternative Fuels Plan, which was posted online last Christmas Eve (pdf). The whole report makes for some fascinating reading because it’s a blueprint for a low-carbon and renewable transportation fuel future. The dominant takeaway: it ain’t going to be easy.

One more choice statistic: gasoline usage in California has increased 50 percent, that’s 10 6.7 billion gallons, since 1988.

But China’s oil thirst is growing — to almost 20 billion gallons in 2007 — and perhaps as early as this year, China’s 1.3 billion people will overtake California’s 37 million people in total gasoline and diesel usage.

Interesting data. The Curious Cat Economics Blog recently posted on the top oil consuming countries.

Related: Car Powered Using Compressed AirFailure to Increase Gas TaxCurious Cat Science and Engineering Blog – Energy posts

China Outsourcing Manufacturing to USA

Chinese firms bargain hunting in U.S.

Liu is investing $10 million in the Palmetto State, building a printing-plate factory that will open this fall and hire 120 workers. His main aim is to tap the large American market, but when his finance staff penciled out the costs, he was stunned to learn how they compared with those in China.

Liu spent about $500,000 for seven acres in Spartanburg — less than one-fourth what it would cost to buy the same amount of land in Dongguan, a city in southeast China where he runs three plants. U.S. electricity rates are about 75% lower, and in South Carolina, Liu doesn’t have to put up with frequent blackouts.

About the only major thing that’s more expensive in Spartanburg is labor. Liu is looking to offer $12 to $13 an hour there, versus about $2 an hour in Dongguan, not including room and board. But Liu expects to offset some of the higher labor costs with a payroll tax credit of $1,500 per employee from South Carolina.

“I was surprised,” said the 63-year-old president of Shanxi Yuncheng Plate-Making Group. “The gap’s not as large as I thought.” Liu is part of a growing wave of Chinese entrepreneurs expanding into the U.S. From Spartanburg to Los Angeles they are building factories, buying companies and investing in business and real estate.

True this is still a relatively small macro economic factor. However, it is growing. The primary push so far is economic – not a move to lean manufacturing (as far, as I can tell) to put manufacturing close to the customer. What is the biggest factor? The USA is spending more than $400 billion every year more than it produces. The only way to consume more than you produce is to borrow (and take an obligation to pay back those that lend you money) or sell the stuff you own to those that are producing more than they are consuming. China is producing more than $200 billion more than it consumes every year.

For decades foreigners have taken debt from Americans that promise to pay back later (to pay for what they consumed). Now many are deciding that these debts are not attractive investments and are looking to own productive assets in the USA (companies, factories…). Which is smart on there part in my opinion.

Related: The Budget Deficit, the Current Account Deficit and the Saving DeficitMoving Jobs to Silicon Valley from India$2,540,000,000,000 in USA Consumer DebtHow to Keep the USA ManufacturingTop 10 Manufacturing Countries 2006

Warren Buffett’s 2004 Annual Report:
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Top 10 Manufacturing Countries 2006

Here is updated data from the UN on manufacturing output by country. China continues to grow amazingly moving into second place for 2006. I plan to write more on this data in the Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog. UN Data, in billions of current US dollars:

Country 1990 2000 2004 2005 2006
USA 1,040 1,543 1,545 1,629 1,725
China 143 484 788 939 1096
Japan 808 1,033 962 954 929
Germany 437 392 559 584 620
Italy 240 206 295 291 313
United Kingdom 207 230 283 283 308
France 223 190 256 253 275
Brazil 117 120 130 172 231
Korea 65 134 173 199 216
Canada 92 129 165 188 213
Additional countries of interest – not the next largest
Mexico 50 107 111 122 136
India 50 67 100 118 130
Indonesia 29 46 72 79 103
Turkey 33 38 75 92 100

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TVS Group Director on India – Manufacturing, Economy…

Gopal Srinivasan is Director of TVS Electronics Limited, Joint Managing Director of Sundaram-Clayton Limited and Director of various other TVS Group companies. TVS group companies, based in India, have been awarded 5 Deming Prizes. He discusses Deming and quality a bit. He also discusses their experiences in manufacturing in China and the strengths they have found in each country. And he discusses the Indian economy and manufacturing.

In the second part of the podcast he talks about the growth of the economy of Tamil Nadu and the inclusive approach required to help India grow. via Gopal Srinivasan of TVS Group of Companies on Entrepreneurship

Related: Hopeful About India’s Manufacturing SectorToyota Chairman Comments on India and ThailandIndian Deming Prize Winner Expanding2005 Deming Prize Awardees2004 Deming Prize

Top 10 Manufacturing Countries

The newest data from the UN confirms most of the recent trends in manufacturing output – most notably that China continues to grow dramatically. The data also shows a stagnation in USA manufacturing output over the last several years, though the USA remains by far the largest manufacturer. The most significant news from this latest data, I believe, is that that manufacturing output growth in the USA has been slower than global manufacturing output growth from 2002-2005. This was not the case prior to 2002. I will be writing more on this data in the Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog. UN Data, in billions of current US dollars:

Country 1990 1995 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
USA 1,040 1,289 1,543 1,460 1,471 1,488 1,545 1,493
Japan 809 1,217 1,033 857 807 886 962 964
China 143 299 484 527 573 664 788 895
Germany 437 517 392 389 407 490 566 594
United Kingdom 207 221 230 218 222 239 283 no data
Italy 240 226 206 205 218 259 295 291
France 200 233 190 185 192 228 256 253
Korea 200 233 190 185 192 228 256 253
Canada 92 100 129 119 120 149 170 196
Brazil 117 149 120 102 95 109 130 171
Spain 108 107 98 100 108 134 153 160
Mexico 50 55 107 110 111 104 111 122
Russia 201 104 73 77 54 64 92 117
India 50 60 67 68 72 84 100 116

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Manufacturing in Asia

The Economist explores the trend to manufacture in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia… instead of China in: The problem with Made in China:

helping China’s share of the world’s exported goods to triple to 7.3% between 1993 and 2005. In comparison, every member of the G8 group of rich nations, with the exception of Russia, saw its share fall. It is a similar story with manufacturing output. Whereas China doubled its share of global production to almost 7% in the decade to 2003, most of the G8 saw their shares fall. Interestingly, only the United States and Canada saw their shares rise

It is nice to see this reported properly. The USA manufacturing share of global output has risen, not fallen, as we have stated numerous times: Manufacturing Value Added Economic DataManufacturing Jobs Data: USA and ChinaGlobal Manufacturing Data by Country. The most fundamental facts of global manufacturing – Global output is increasing. Jobs are decreasing (everywhere, not moving from one place to another – decreasing everywhere). China’s output is growing rapidly. The USA is still by far the largest manufacturer, USA output is growing faster than global output and much slower than China’s output. Japan is the second largest manufacturer with China third, by a fairly large margin though China is growing very rapidly.

Related: Manufacturing JobsChina’s Manufacturing EconomyAmerica’s Manufacturing Future
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Womack on Lean in China

From the Lean blog another valuable podcast: Lean in China with Jim Womack. He is not impressed with the state of lean in China yet. Lean Enterprise China has been established to aid the adoption of the best management practices in China.

Read articles by Jim Womack

Related: China’s Lean JourneyManufacturing Jobs Data: USA and ChinaToyota in China: Full Speed AheadGlobal Manufacturing Data by Country