Mattel goes local in Brazil, India
New York: Uno cards for Brazil market made in Brazil? Check. Barbie dolls for India assembled in India? Check.
Mattel Inc, the world's biggest toymaker, has begun making products for local consumption in those fast-growing countries in a new bid to hold the line on costs. The move comes as manufacturers of many stripes are reevaluating China, which has seen its image as a low-cost manufacturing hub dented by wage inflation and higher shipping costs.
"That's for efficiency reasons. It's not to say we are not continuing in China," Lisa McKnight, SVP Marketing of Mattel's North American unit, said in a recent interview on the sidelines of the 110th American International Toy Fair in New York. Mattel, home to iconic American brands such as Barbie and Hot Wheels, currently makes 74 percent of its products in China. Its other main factories are in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand.
The El Segundo, California-based toymaker closed its last factory in the United States, originally part of the Fisher-Price unit, in 2002.