Manufacturers voluntarily return to Sweden

JAGADEESH NV

Indian engineers work on buses at Scania manufacturing and assembly unit on the outskirts of Bangalore, India, 30 March 2015. Swedish Automotive heavy-vehicle maker Scania on 30 March opened its first bus manufacturing facility in India with capacity to produce 1000 buses annually.

Automation means that growth is no longer tied to a global production network


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Amidst a wave of political anti-globalization activism in the United States and in Europe, increasing numbers of Swedish manufacturers are voluntarily repatriating, according to a Lund University study.

The study suggests that repatriation of Swedish manufacturing is driven by technology and governance. Automation reduces the need for cheap labour, while governance allows companies to reduce hidden administrative costs in emerging economies. The study notes that the shift of Swedish manufacturing offshore is still greater than the wave of repatriation but suggest the trend is reversing. The result is that Sweden is likely to retain current levels of employment.

The study notes that the shift of Swedish manufacturing to low-cost countries is still greater than repatriation wave, but the trend is reversing.

Focusing on the case study of the recently repatriated steel springs manufacturer, Ewes, Swedish Radio reports on the return of production from Serbia to Småland in southern Sweden. According to the company’s CEO, Anton Svensson, robotics and automation are reducing the need for manual labour, which makes repatriation possible. “Coming home” has the added benefit of reducing administrative costs.

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