By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 8:29 pm
I suspect that many folks shared my immediate reaction to today’s sad news that Sony will lay off 560 Pennsylvania factory workers and end TV production in the U.S.: utter astonishment that Sony was still making TVs in the U.S. at all. Or, for that matter, that anyone still made TVs in this country. Or consumer electronics devices of any sort, actually. (At least there’s still such a thing as an American-built PC, thanks to Dell and other companies, though I kind of suspect I may live to see the closure of the last U.S. computer factory.)
As far as I knew, the end game for the once proud domestic consumer electronics manufacturing industry came years ago; if I’d known I could still have bought a TV set made stateside, I would have tried to do so. (The Sony plant wasn’t even all that old–it was founded to build projection TVs in 1990, and later switched to LCDs.)
With the Sony plant’s shutdown next February, anyone know if there’s a single gadget left that will roll off an American assembly line? Buying stuff from icons of American industry like HP and Apple doesn’t help–not only do most of their products originate in Asia and elsewhere, but they’re generally made by contract manufacturers.