The fall of a great tool company

Milwaukee Electric Tool is being acquired by Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. (TTI), the world's fastest growing power tool manufacturer. Although you
may not have heard about TTI, you're probably familiar with some of the brand name products owned by TTI, like Ryobi power tools, Homelite outdoor power equipment and Royal and Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners and floor care appliances.
Joining forces with TTI will allow us to share TTI's research and development facilities. That means we'll have even more engineering and manufacturing expertise to draw on in order to produce the innovative products that you've come to expect from Milwaukee.
We currently employ more than 2,000 people and have four manufacturing plants in Wisconsin, Mississippi and Arkansas, making Milwaukee the only power tool manufacturer with the majority of its tool production in the U.S. Our team will now join forces with TTI North America, which employs 1, 800 people in Ohio and South Carolina.
Our products will continue to carry the familiar Milwaukee brand and you'll be able to buy the tools and accessories you need from your favorite retailer or distributor.
At Milwaukee, we're proud of our 80 years of dedicated service to professional power tool users. The product and service levels that you've come to expect from Milwaukee will be the same - if not better - in the years ahead. As we begin this next chapter, we thank you for your continued support and invite you to keep sending us ideas on how to make Milwaukee power tools and accessories even better.
We fully expect to become a stronger company as a result of this acquisition. This should translate into even more high-quality, innovative power tool and accessory systems from Milwaukee.
Thank you for owning and using Milwaukee Electric power tools.
Sincerely,
Dan Perry, President Milwaukee Electric Tool
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Ltd.
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As an electrician I have used Milwaukee tools for years. The porta band Saws and electric drill motors we use are almost always Milwaukee. For battery operated drills and saws alls the Dewalt is tops. For threaders Rigid is tops. For hand tools Klein is tops. For overalls Carhartt is tops. For hack saws Sandvik is tops - although Klein makes one that looks the same. For shoes Red Wings or White's Boots are tops. Nothing beats a White's Boot even at $542 a pair. They are hand made in Spokane, Washington at a little factory. If you are going to work off a ladder for months on end and your feet start hurting get White's boots. But for porta band saws Milwaukee is tops.
I expect all these companies including yours to be moving to China or Mexico within the next five years if they haven't already. I suggest you read Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan if you don't believe me. Manufacturing Labor in the USA has been made obsolete by Free Trade! When made in China porta bands start selling for 20 per cent of the price of made in the USA porta bands, and if they perform as good, Milwaukee will have to move to China or go out of business of making porta band saws. This is the natural economic evolution that is happening now at a very fast pace. Walk into any Walmart and ask if the shoppers give a hoot about the pollution laws or labor laws or safety laws or wages in China - Not as long as they can buy the products cheap. Like I said, read the book.
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Ltd.
I went to the Tehtronic Industries web site and found the purchase agreement for buying Milwaukee Tools. It is dated, Hong Kong, 30th August 2004! So China has already acquired Milwaukee. I wouldn't bet my next pay check on having a job at Milwaukee by the end of the year. I will be looking at the labels on the Homelite and Ryobi products a Home Depot this week. I will wager they are made in China. The end of the Made in USA products is near. The economists think this is the right path to take and have convinced most of our politicians. They have made mistakes before and this could be another one, If it is, it is going to cost the USA its dominance in the world markets and send us right down the tube. Can we really afford losing our manufacturing base to China and Mexico?
The economists say, we Americans can and will be more productive at other jobs, and that other developing nations have a more productive labor force because they work for less everything - wages, conditions, health care, and safety. They say we can't afford to waste our precious time making shoes when Viet Namese can do the same job using kids working for $2 a day. It is unbelievable that this is happening to America. What happens to those Americans that can't afford college or can't do more complicated tasks? The economists also say that the decrease in prices is a wage increase for the Americans that still have jobs.
I wired some Square D motor controllers last week. They were made in Mexico. The internal wiring did not match the drawing by far. The overloads were on the wrong side of the control transformer power and there was no ground. I called the Office and said that I could rewire them in 30 minutes, but that since they are made in Mexico, Square D can fly someone up here (Alaska) from Mexico to fix them. I really don't give a damn if they burn the building down!
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The new owners of Milwaukee tools have 14 new jobs posted all in China. Try this link: http://www.dimension.jobsdb.com/default.asp?PID=1&AC=tti&EC=ttihk&GC=&LID=&SP=1
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I guess when my Milwaukee stuff finally craps out that will be it. NO more for me. F-em!!!
The new owners of Milwaukee tools have 14 new jobs posted all in China. Try this link: http://www.dimension.jobsdb.com/default.asp?PID=1&AC=tti&EC=ttihk&GC=&LID=&SP=1
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So...what will be the next great "American" power tool company?
Craftsman? Bosch? DeWalt? Porter-Cable? etc...??? Makita or Hitachi maybe?
I rest my case.
The best way to make a statement is not to bitch or threaten unscrupulous "Benedict Arnold" companies with pointless boycotts...rather...start your own tool company and turn out a product that blows their shit out of the water. You have a lot of talented and unemployed labor and engineering types sitting on their asses doing nothing. Do it right, and your sales will soar. There are a lot of people would be glad to buy an American made product provided it is comparable and competitively priced with the stuff on the market today.

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Craftsman is a "great" power tool company?
And Hitachi is not an American company at all.
The reason these companies change is because the market place changes. Fewer people are willing to buy top dollar to get a perfect tool when something serviceable can be had for much less. That's what's driving much of this movement.

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On Thu, 16 Sep 2004 21:22:14 -0500, Bob Peterson wrote:

Their hand tools are reasonable, by all measures. The power tools are crap though.

I prefer Porter-Cable anyway. ;-)

I think you're a little off here. People will put up with crap because they don't know what a good tool is. The sentiment that "the craftsman doesn't blame his tools" is ingraned into the minds of many, but they don't seem to graps the facts: "the craftsman doesn't buy a $5 hammer".
I've had enough crappy tools (yes, mostly crapsman power tools) to know to buy the best I can afford. I once thought I couldn't cut a stright line worth beans, until I replaced my circular saw. What a difference a crappy Ryobi made over the Crapsman! Never buy a garbage tool. You'll be stuck with it.
-- Keith
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Ridgid makes an ass-kicking line of heavy duty battery operated. tools. I'll take their stuff over Milwaukee (thoughit their's would be my second choice), DeWalt (junk in comparison), and Makita (more junk).. Craftsman isn't even in the same class. Neither is it in the same price range either. You'll pay dearly for Ridgid but the suckers out-perform any of the higher quality batt. tools I've used so far.

No problemo.
perion
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