Utne Blogs > Environment

Bike Manufacturing Moving Back to United States?

 by Julie Hanus

Tags: Environment, green living, bicycling, bikes, globalization, manufacturing, shipping, economy, trendspotting, predictions, Portland, New Internationalist,

Bike ManufacturingIt’s been two long decades since most U.S. bike companies moved their factories overseas, primarily to China and Taiwan. It’s a story avid U.S. cyclists often lament—the decline of domestic manufacturing—and the death knell seemed to sound this past April when the owners of Cannondale, among the last big brands to have a U.S. production facility, announced they would cease stateside production by 2010.

Perhaps Cannondale’s execs (and bummed-out cyclists) should pick up a copy of the New Internationalist. In its June 2009 issue, the global justice publication predicts that large-scale bicycle manufacturing will return to the United States in the next few years. Overseas shipping has become less economical (not to mention an environmental boondoggle), and U.S. retailers are interested in faster turnaround, industry analyst Jay Townley tells the magazine.

If the prediction bears out, which U.S. cities will nab domestic factories? The New Internationalist article, written by a contributor to BikePortland.org, understandably showcases the many perks of Oregon’s bicycle mecca, while conceding that Portland’s “roads and railways are not placed as favorably as a Midwestern transportation hub like Indianapolis or Nashville.”

Source: New Internationalist

Image by doviende, licensed under Creative Commons.