With recent announcements by Apple, GE and Ford stating their plans to bring some or all of their manufacturing back home, is this the start of a trend or a public relations move?

Colliers International and the Manufacturing & Industrial Community of CoreNet Global’s UK Chapter set out to explore European manufacturing trends, specifically the re-shoring phenomenon, or repatriation of offshore manufacturing back to companies’ home countries or regions. We surveyed multinational corporates across a variety of industries to go beyond speculation and measure the real extent of repatriation in Europe.

Click here to download the full report.

The key findings are outlined below and discussed in detail throughout this report:

  • In the last five years, almost 25% of manufacturers moved part of their operations to home countries. In some cases, these moves are driven by consolidation and rebalancing of production, rather than by deliberate repatriation policy.
  • The proximity to customers is of growing importance to manufacturers who wish to improve response times to changes in local tastes and demand.
  • Offshoring and re-shoring cannot fully explain multinationals’ movements; instead, many companies are “best-shoring” with operations distributed to exploit the competitive advantages globally.
  • New technologies will benefit European manufacturing by reducing the importance of labour costs in the total cost of production. Market development and investment in logistics and transport infrastructure will also impact positively on European manufacturing as detailed in our Top European Logistics Hubs report.
  • Emerging economies remain the focus for manufacturing expansion: Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey lead corporate preferences, followed by China and India. Movements between “low cost” countries, particularly from China to other emerging economies, will also increase, although hampered by inflexible infrastructure and supply chains.