While others lament the decline of manufacturing in the United States, Robust Tools is finishing its first shipment of woodturning lathes for export to mainland China.
“At first we were more than a little skeptical of the arrangement” said Brent English, President of Robust Tools. “With inexpensive tools made in China dominating the US market, why would the Chinese want our equipment, which often retails for two to three times as much?” The answer is that Chinese consumers are looking for higher quality equipment than they can source locally.
Late in 2016, Mr. English was approached by Harvey Industries Co., Ltd. Harvey manufactures woodworking machines and is headquartered in Nanjing, China. Harvey has a division known as Harvey Works that imports premium US and European made woodworking equipment for sale to China’s growing middle class.
Harvey’s first order to Robust is for four of its top of the line models, the “American Beauty”. Perhaps small in the bigger scheme of things, it is a nice start to what Robust hopes will be a continuing and growing relationship.