Top 35 Famous US Brands, But No Longer Made in America
Recent surveys know more than 70% of Americans prefer to buy locally made products and are even willing to pay more for them for better quality and for many other reasons.
However, many buyers will be surprised that many American brands, even becoming the pride and symbols of America, now manufacture their products abroad. On the other hand, consumers around the world will also be surprised to know that the product they just bought (at a reasonable price) is an American brand.
There are many reasons why companies choose to manufacture American products in other countries around the world such as to reduce costs, source of materials, etc.
KnowInsiders.com discovers well-known American brands that are now manufactured abroad.
The most popular eyewear company in the world, Ray-Ban has made a significant impact on American history and fashion. Ray-Ban is one of the nation’s most well-known eyewear manufacturers. Their iconic Aviator frames, which were first created in the 1930s to help protect the eyes of American pilots, as well as the chic Wayfarers that have become pop culture icons in movies like Risky Business. Today, Ray-Ban offers many different collections of sunglasses in a variety of color schemes so that customers can express their unique personal styles.
You can purchase a pair from any of their 32 physical stores nationwide or online because all models are widely accessible. Additionally, they are well-known throughout the world, particularly since they were acquired by the conglomerate Luxxotica and began sourcing their frames from China and Italy.
Every American uses Apple phones, computers, and tablets as their preferred choice. Its California headquarters are regarded as a center for innovation and technological advancement. In fact, the iPhone is currently in its fourteenth version and is still reshaping the technological landscape. When they introduce their eagerly anticipated version of smart glasses, experts currently predict that Apple will lead the new field.
Apple is still the preferred brand for gadgets due to its usability and sleek design, despite the high price point. It is now one of the top businesses in the nation as a result of its popularity. Contrary to this, China, Taiwan, and India account for the majority of its manufacturing. Only a few of Apple’s components are still made in the United States.
Because Levi’s was the company that first popularized denim jeans, modern American fashion owes a lot to them. Since it was established in 1853 by German-Jewish immigrant Levi Strauss, it is commemorating its 150th anniversary this year. Strauss made durable blue jeans for miners before relocating to San Francisco, where he was successful. Up until this point, Levi’s has been renowned for its premium clothing and branding with an American flair. The majority of their products are now produced in factories in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Mexico, though a few of their pant styles are still entirely made in the United States.
With toys that featured figures and characters from various eras of American history, American Girl Dolls gained notoriety. For instance, their Molly McIntire doll is from the late World War II era, while their Julie Albright doll is from the 1970s. These characters, which are sold with companion books, are designed to introduce young girls to different eras of American life.
Despite having such a long history and a well-known brand, American Girl Dolls have long been made abroad. Manufacturing was done in Germany in the 1980s, but after Mattel purchased the brand, it was moved to China. More specifically, the majority of dolls sold under the Mattel brand are produced in Shenzhen province due to lower labor costs and a larger labor force.
The nation has long preferred the Gillette brand of razors and shaving cream. Since it created the idea of a disposable razor, its goods are probably present in the majority of American homes. Given that their corporate headquarters are in Boston, the majority of their marketing materials, including commercials and posters, frequently feature a “Made in USA” tag.
Later on, it was learned that Gillete outsources production work to a number of other nations, including Canada, Mexico, China, Brazil, and Canada. Aside from these, according to Gilette, the majority of their razor blades are produced in a factory in Berlin as of 2021.
Nike is currently so closely associated with athletic wear. The 2023 film “Air,” which charts the rise of the brand, explores the connection between the iconic swoosh logo and some of the best athletes America has to offer. In addition to being viewed as activewear, sneakerheads now view these shoes as collectibles and occasionally choose to display them rather than wear them.
Even the priciest pair of Nike shoes ever sold for a staggering $2 million. These solid gold Ovo Air Jordans, which were purchased by the rapper Drake, only strengthened Nike’s reputation as a 5-star brand. Although the company was initially founded in Oregon, since the 1970s, the production of its products has been based in Asia. Nike’s shoe factories today are located in China and Vietnam.
These enduring casual shoes originated in Michigan and have been around for more than 60 years. The company that boasts “we invented casual” has added a wide range of hues and finishes to its humble, brushed suede originals that A-list celebrities like Tom Hanks and David Bowie have worn. Additionally, it has moved production to nations like China and Vietnam.
With roots in Chicago and Troy, New York, arrow shirts have a history that dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century. The company now celebrates these origins with the Arrow USA 1851 clothing line, a fashionable and well-liked collection of shirts. However, the production is not done in the United States, as is the case with a large portion of the apparel industry. Shirts may have tags that read Arrow USA 1851 on one side and Cambodia, China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, or Kenya on the other.
Samsonite was founded in Denver and has evolved from a modest travel bag retailer to one of the top manufacturers of luggage worldwide. After a change in ownership in 2005, the company’s headquarters were relocated to Massachusetts; however, the company’s main branch and some of its manufacturing are now located in Europe. However, the majority is in Asia, and the company’s factory in India supplies at least 40% of the inventory.
Dell, a Texas-based company, rose to the top of the tech sector by selling computers and related goods. Contrary to many of its rivals, it maintained manufacturing operations in the country up until 2010, when it shut down a North Carolina plant that had received $280 million in state funding. Dell computers are now primarily produced in Asia and Mexico.
Woolrich, a storied brand that has been around since 1830 and provided uniforms to Union troops during the Civil War, is no longer able to claim “Made in USA.” Along with its own line of products, the business that became well-known for its cozy woolen goods and the recognizable red-and-black Buffalo Check pattern also produced items for L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer. Production eventually began to shift to China, Vietnam, and other nations. The company announced the closure of its Pennsylvania plant in late 2018.
An iconic American brand, Gillette is well-known for its shaving products and razors. In addition to its products, the Gillette name can be seen on the Massachusetts stadium where the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots play. However, the company oversold its ties to Beantown when its advertising highlighted the business’s Boston headquarters, claims advertising watchdog group TINA.org. The group asserts that Gilette shouldn’t be implying broad “Made in USA” cred because the company manufactures its products in a number of other nations, including China, Mexico, and Brazil.
The American Barbie doll, a significant figure in the lives of so many young girls, is among Mattel’s most recognizable creations. The business, which has its headquarters in Los Angeles, shut down its final U.S. factory in 2002 and moved all of its production to China.
Up until 1999, Huffy’s bicycles had the American flag painted on the frame somewhere. However, the company struggled financially, and bike prices dropped as a result of pressure from large retailers like Walmart. Hundreds of workers at the company’s plants in Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi were laid off as it shifted its manufacturing to China and Mexico.
Fisher-Price, which was established in New York in 1930 and has been producing dependable kids’ toys for close to a century, was instrumental in making plastic toys more widely used in the 1950s. After being acquired by Mattel in 1993, the business started moving its production overseas, which resulted in a significant recall of nearly a million toys made in China in 2007. The reason for the recall was worries about lead paint.
Converse is one of the most well-known shoe brands in America, especially for its enduring Chuck Taylor All-Stars. The business struggled for many years before repeatedly declaring bankruptcy and selling to Nike. This helped the shoes experience a resurgence but also completely moved manufacturing from the United States to Indonesia and other Asian nations.
Schwinn, one of the most well-known bicycle brands, produced and sold light bikes made in the United States from a factory in Chicago until 1991, when the company decided to outsource its manufacturing to cheaper international rivals.
Since the company was acquired by Pacific Cycle, a subsidiary of the global corporation Dorel Industries, there are few current Schwinn models made in Taiwan and China that are similar to the original ones. However, Detroit Bike announced that it would be reintroducing Schwinn’s iconic Collegiate cruiser to the United States in 2020.
When the balls used to play the game aren’t even produced here any longer, is baseball still America’s sport? Rawlings was founded in St. Louis and used to produce baseballs in Puerto Rico, but by the time it was recognized as a supplier to Major League Baseball, it had already relocated to Haiti. These days, China and Costa Rica both produce the balls.
Since its creation in 1917, the red toy wagon made by the Chicago-based Radio Flyer has played a significant role in the childhoods of countless Americans. The wagon was produced in a Chicago facility, along with other items like tricycles and scooters, until 2004 when maintenance costs compelled the company to shift the majority of its operations to China.
The Etch A Sketch, another toy that most kids in America grew up with, was created in France and purchased by Ohio Art Co. The American company that popularized the toy around the world produced it in Ohio up until 2000, when production was moved to China to reduce costs.
Especially during the holidays, the 1904-founded company Brach’s became inextricably linked with treats like Candy Corn and Conversation Hearts. The candies were produced in Chicago up until 2001, when new sugar-related regulations in the US increased production costs and forced the company to relocate production to Mexico.
The Fender Stratocaster is a well-known guitar that is closely linked to a number of American music legends, such as Buddy Holly and Jimi Hendrix. Even though many of the recognizable six-string guitars are now produced in Mexico, they are still widely used by musicians. Models made in the United States are still produced, but they cost about twice as much.
The first action figure, G.I. Joe, was promoted as a morally upright hero from different branches of the American armed forces, but the Hasbro-produced toy is no longer as nationalistic as its advertising suggests. Hasbro, one of the biggest toy companies in the world, produces most of its toys in factories in Asia, and G.I. Joe is no exception.
A classic American board game called Monopoly was developed to teach players about capitalism. The game was created in 1903, and Parker Bros. owned it until 1991, when Hasbro bought it out. Each Monopoly box’s plastic houses and hotels are currently produced in Ireland.
The first portable electric drill was created in the United States in 1917 by Black & Decker, which was then headquartered in a small machine shop in Baltimore. The business, which is now owned by Stanley Works, still has roots in Baltimore and runs a few manufacturing plants in North America. Although it announced a $90 million investment for manufacturing in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2020 and closed a 25-year-old plant in China, the vast majority of its production is still done in China.
Craftsman was established by Sears to market hardware products it had purchased from other manufacturers and was once named the most trusted brand in America. The company promoted its “Made in the USA” heritage up until 2004, when Craftsman, which is now a part of the combined Stanley Black & Decker, was accused of misleading customers about tools made with metal components produced abroad. Today, only a small number of Craftsmen products classified as industrial are still produced in the United States; the rest are produced abroad.
Ford is a distinctly American automaker that was established by the legendary entrepreneur Henry Ford and is closely linked to the Motor City. Like other automakers, Ford still runs a few unionized plants domestically, but none of its vehicles are made entirely of components from the United States. For instance, the Maverick and Bronco Sport are manufactured in Mexico, whereas the Ford Edge is produced in Canada.
The storied American automaker Chevrolet, established in Detroit in 1911, managed to surpass Ford as the most popular vehicle in the country in 1929. Although many of its most well-known models, including the Blazer and Equinox, are at least partially produced in Mexico or Canada, the company’s advertisements frequently feature patriotic music and themes.
Baby food made by the Michigan-based company Gerber, which today is the world’s largest supplier of infant products, was consumed by millions of Americans as infants. Since its initial merger with the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis in 1994, Gerber’s products have been produced abroad and are now owned by the Swiss conglomerate Nestle. However, it made plans for a $30 million expansion at its Fort Smith, Arkansas, plant, which were announced in 2020.
Who doesn’t remember when Under Armour first appeared on the scene with its series of “protect this house” commercials? Under Armour has deviated from its Maryland roots to produce athletic wear in Asia, Central and South America, and Mexico, which is surprising for a clothing brand that is so frequently decorated with stars and bars.
In the 1950s, sardine canning grew to be a significant American industry on both coasts and was closely linked to historic neighborhoods like Monterey, California’s Cannery Row. The nation’s last sardine cannery, the Stinson Seafood plant in Maine, was forced to close its doors in 2010 due to the industry’s overall steep decline, with the exception of some panic buying at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown.
Years ago, Donald Trump blasted American businesses for moving their factories overseas, frequently pressuring businesses like Ford and GM to keep their production domestic. However, he rarely manufactures his own product lines domestically. His “Make America Great Again” hats were made in the United States, but a quick examination of his other branded goods reveals that the majority of them were made in China, Bangladesh, or Vietnam.
Since its beginnings in 1969 as a jeans and record store in San Francisco, Gap has come a long way. Seven brands are currently under the control of the multinational clothing corporation, including household names like Old Navy and Banana Republic. Despite having its roots in America, Gap manufactures the majority of its clothing in nations like Bangladesh, Cambodia, and China.
According to the business’ website, “Wrangler is upholding American freedom.” Despite having a patriotic image, the Kontoor Brands-owned business manufactures a large portion of its goods abroad. However, Wrangle hasn’t completely abandoned its decades-long history as an American business; the Rooted line is still made here.
A perennially contentious political issue in America is the state of the nation’s manufacturing sector. It’s still challenging to comprehend just how many products are no longer made in the United States, despite the fact that sectors like finance and real estate have gradually increased to employ more people than manufacturing.
These brands are dependable because they don’t compromise on product quality even though production is done in other nations. These companies’ reputations will remain as being American, just like their corporate headquarters.
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