Who Said the American TV Industry Was Dead?
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
March 15, 2002 - for the American Reformation Project
One of the most difficult areas where Americans have trouble buying
American is in the electronics industry. Televisions in particular are
especially tough to find made in the USA. A few years back, I bought a General
Electric TV that was made in Indiana. Back in 1995, one of my brothers bought a
Bell & Howell TV from Montgomery Ward that was made in USA. Montgomery Ward, the
largest privately-owned, American-owned retail chain at the time, went bankrupt,
and Bell & Howell no longer makes televisions. I'm not sure if that GE plant is
still in Indiana either, but one thing I am sure of is that Curtis Mathes is
American owned and makes some of their TVs in the United States. They even
design their own products, so white-collar Americans retain jobs as well.
When I found that Bell & Howell was making TVs in the United States and
that Montgomery Ward was in financial trouble, I thought it was a rare
opportunity to prop up two birds with one stone. Bell & Howell deserved our
dollars for going against the tide and employing American workers and Montgomery
Ward deserved our dollars for carrying their products. We have another golden
opportunity here to support yet another unpopular TV brand and help Kmart avoid
financial ruin at the same time. Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic surely don't need
our dollars, and the last thing I heard about Wal-Mart's connection to the TV
industry was that they finally stopped carrying Konka TVs. Konka is
Chinese-owned and none of their TVs are made here, yet Wal-Mart seemed
determined to help them compete against the Japanese and grab an eventual 1%
share of the U.S. market. Kmart, on the other hand, appears to be trying to help
out an American manufacturer in Curtis Mathes.
Curtis Mathes doesn't make all their TVs here, as the small screen models
are made just south of the U.S.-Mexico border. But if you visit your local Kmart
store, you will find larger models from 27" to 36" proudly display the Made in
USA logo. Now who was it that said the American TV industry was dead?