Buffett featured in video about Shaw’s new China plant

HomeNewsBuffett featured in video about Shaw's new China plant
Shaw’s new plant in Nantong, China, opened to much fanfare.

Dalton—Berkshire-Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett is featured in a video discussing the opening of Shaw Industries’ carpet tile plant in Nantong, China, a port city in the Jiangsu province.
 Buffett talks about the plant, as well as Berkshire’s manufacturing history in China and how it makes financial sense.

“For an American company producing a product people around the world will find advantageous to use, it would be absolutely folly not to have a major manufacturing operation in China turning out that product,” said Buffet in the video speech at the factory’s opening. “I hope this is just the beginning of a much larger operation over time.”

Chinese consumers are less inclined to buy carpets for residential use, compared to U.S. consumers. However, Buffetshaw-main-logo said Chinese people “are going to want a lot of carpet tile and they’re going to find Shaw is a good place to purchase it.”

The manufacturing facility, with an investment of $45 million, represents part of Shaw’s intensifying efforts in China, a move endorsed by Buffet.

Shaw chairman and CEO Vance Bell said the establishment of the Nantong plant will help the company better serve fast-growing demand for flooring solutions in Asia, in particularly in China.

“Two thirds of the world’s carpet tile is sold outside of North America—the majority in Asia,” he said. “Sales in China, in particular, have grown 20% annually, making it the world’s third-largest carpet-tile-purchasing country.”

The Nantong plant will be Shaw’s only manufacturing facility outside the U.S. It will make recyclable carpets for Asia. Previously Shaw’s carpet tile products had to be shipped from the US to serve local customers.

Shaw is now focusing on providing carpet tile to office buildings in China. The expansion of multinational companies in China and the rise of local companies, especially Internet companies, are creating fast-growing demand for carpet tile to provide a comfortable work environment for their employees.

Jeff Galloway, vice-president of Shaw, Asia Pacific, said it’s a natural decision for the mill to choose Nantong, which is home to China’s modern textile industry, to build a carpet tile plant. “Nantong’s woven textile heritage mirrors the communities in which we’ve manufactured flooring in the southeastern U.S. for more than half a century.”

In addition to the Nantong plant, Shaw has also established showrooms or sales offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

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