There’s an interesting multi-page advertisement running in most of the auto magazines this month, it’s for MacNeil Automotive Products, the company that makes WeatherTech floor mats, cargo liners and window deflectors. In the ad, David MacNeil, the founder and CEO of the company talks about a new manufacturing expansion they’re doing in Bolingbrook, Illinois. He’s decided to build and expand right here in the USA, instead of taking the all too common route of making products in some other country, before importing and selling them here. It’s amazing that this decision is so unusual that a company can run an ad pointing it out, when not long ago, it would have been the norm.
How did we get to this point? How did it ever become logical to employ people 7000 or 10,000 miles away instead of creating jobs for our own neighbors? In the pursuit of a few cents saved we’ve lost our own communities. Everyone in every country should have the opportunity to work and earn a living to support their family, but let the companies in each country create jobs for their own neighbors, making products they can sell everywhere. I think most of us are tired of exporting jobs instead of exporting the products we make. In this country, we no longer seem to make much of anything, manufacturing is supposedly done elsewhere and it’s long past the time when some companies take a stand and say we’re going to build right here. Perhaps if MacNeil Automotive Products does it and draws attention to it, someone else will decide to do it, too.
MacNeil isn’t just making their products here, they’re also using raw materials and machines made here, from California, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois and also from our neighbors in Ontario, Canada, who are making machines from American and Canadian components. It’s a commitment to an idea that if your neighbor doesn’t have a job, it won’t be long before you don’t either.
If we are going to get this economy rolling again, we need to begin by building companies here, creating jobs here and manufacturing products here. When it’s time to buy a product, look at those companies who are supporting your neighbors and consider their products first. It doesn’t give those companies a pass on quality, if they don’t merit your support then look elsewhere, but they get the first shot at my business. With this move by MacNeil Automotive, the next floor mats I buy will likely be WeatherTech. You might want to think about it, too.