Lenovo opens first US PC plant

Chinese PC maker announces plans for a production line manufacturing its Think-branded devices in North Carolina, which promises to open up 115 new jobs when operational in early 2013.

Chinese PC maker Lenovo announces it will open up a new production line for its Think series of devices in the United States, reversing the general market trend of U.S. and European companies moving manufacturing jobs to Asia.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the world No. 2 PC manufacturer said it is setting a production line in Whitsett, North Carolina, which promises to create 115 new manufacturing jobs building Think-branded notebook and desktop PCs, tablets, engineering workstations and servers for the U.S. market. These include some of the latest products such as the ThinkCentre M92p Tiny desktop and ThinkPad Tablet 2 , it noted.

The facility is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in early 2013, the company added.

The latest move is in line with the Chinese company's strategy to expand its in-house manufacturing capabilities around the world, which it believes will speed production innovation and support rapid business growth. It bought Brazil's consumer electronics company Digibras , which manufactures the CCE brand of PCs, for US$147 million last month.

"Lenovo is establishing a U.S. manufacturing base because we believe in the long-term strength of the American PC market and our own growth opportunities here," said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo.

"As Lenovo expands globally, we are establishing even deeper roots in each major market. In addition to localized sales and marketing teams, in our major countries we are establishing an even stronger manufacturing footprint, investing in R&D (research and development) and ensuring that we hire top local talent," Yang added.

The company's decision to build the manufacturing plant is the latest positive news for the U.S. tech industry, and comes on the back of General Motors' decision to hire about 500 new employees in Texas for its IT innovation center in September.