The rapid emergence of China and India as prime locations for low-cost manufacturing has led some analysts to conclude that manufacturers in the "old economies" - the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan - are being edged out of a profitable future. But if countries that have historically been at the forefront of events in manufacturing can adapt adroitly, opportunities are by no means over, says the author of this timely book. Peter Marsh explores 250 years in the history of manufacturing, then examines the characteristics of the industrial revolution that is taking place right now. The driving forces that influence what types of goods are made and who makes them are little understood, Marsh observes. He discusses the key changes in what is happening in manufacturing today, including advances in technology, a greater focus on tailor-made goods aimed at specific individuals and industry users, participation of many more countries in world manufacturing, and the growing importance of sustainable forms of production.
With broad historical sweep and dozens of engaging examples, Marsh explains these changes and their import both for consumers making purchase choices and for manufacturers assessing how to participate successfully in the new industrial era.
Peter T. Marsh is a journalist who reports on developments in manufacturing-related industries for the Financial Times. He received the UK Business Journalist of the Year Award in the manufacturing category in 2002. He lives in London.