As I prepare for a week of sparklers, snow cones, and a day or two away from work, I can’t help but think about the thousands of employees that build millions of Briggs & Stratton engines every year in our four American-based engine plants. And although our company, like so many others, serves the needs of others throughout the globe, I am also proud to say that I work for Briggs & Stratton: an American company with old roots here in the U.S.A.
As we manufacture and assemble engines in the U.S. of U.S. and global components, it’s reassuring to know that we are part of resurgence in Economic Nationalism; just take a look at some of the stories in the headlines these days and you will realize that shoppers are looking for American-made goods.
According to a national survey published in Consumer Reports in February of this year, 78 percent of Americans would rather buy an American made product given a choice between domestic goods and an identical product made abroad.
In the same survey, more than 60 percent of respondents said they’d buy American made even if it cost 10 percent more than an import. And more than a quarter of respondents said they’d be willing to pay an extra 20 percent.
Given the uncertainty of the U.S. economy, getting consumers to say they’d actually spend more is a pretty big deal. But why do they want to spend more? According to our own research, here at Briggs & Stratton, more than 80 percent said they want to make sure manufacturing jobs the U.S. stay in the U.S. And on top of that, almost two-thirds believe American-made products are of better quality.
This “Buy American” movement applies to the jeans and sneakers we wear, to the food we eat, and the outdoor power equipment that power our lives. In a March survey we conducted through Harris Interactive, consumers said that having a lawn mower engine made in America was more important than having a laptop or cell phone made here. This sentiment extends to the lawn mower itself. In an annual survey of over 2,000 power-equipment owners, 67% of those who bought walk behind mowers said they prefer to buy products made in the U.S.A. For ride mower buyers, it was even higher; 77% of them prefer to buy products made in America.
I know where we make engines, and how we make engines, is important to our customers – to the people who rely on our small engines every day, to power their lawn mowers, pressure washers, portable generators and snow blowers. And it’s important to us that our customers understand that Briggs & Stratton is a proven name in outdoor power equipment. A name that came to be more than 100 years ago was made, right here, in the U.S.A.
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