Well times changed and we now look at items made in Japan as new in technology and quality made, plus cars from Toyota are one of the brands many look for as a lasting vehicle.
Then it all shifted and we looked out for things made in Taiwan. The cheaper and lower quality items were made there. In the 80’s, especially in the car industry, came the Hyundai and then the Kia. At that time, wages in Korea were much lower than Japan so they could make cars cheaper. At first the Hyundai had no power and was structurally weak. Again over time their quality and prices with them improved.
Now living in the Philippines, but also in the rest of the world, for cheap and low quality products we see the label “Made in China.” There were also problems where products for American markets that are made in China having defects and problems. Here in the Philippines, if you want a cheap cell phone that looks like the better models, go buy one of the Chinese “Rip-offs” of an IPod or other copies. With cars, there is the Chery, an inexpensive car. One of their vehicles looks like a Chevy rip-off for a lot less than the original. Living here in the Philippines, if something breaks and you ask why, many times you will hear “Well it was made in China.”
Well, what do you expect; China is emerging as a world leader in trade and investments. Plus the fact that labor prices are some of the lowest in the world, they can produce many things in mass production at lower cost. The unfortunate part is they do not monitor their quality or safety issues. In ten years or so, we might start to see their quality rise up the same we have seen with Japan and Korea.
So, what country will be next? Well the other day we went out to buy a small inexpensive grill. I was curious and looked at the box expecting to see “Made in China.” I was surprised to see, since I had not seen it before, “Made in Indonesia.”
What are your thoughts about good or cheap manufacturing and what countries come to your mind?