My wife is currently expecting our second child. We already have a 2 year old, so we were looking into purchasing a double stroller. We looked around online quite a bit for something appropriate. There were some side by side strollers that we thought were ok. Those were made in China, of course, but were at least less than $200. We then happened on Bob strollers. These are higher-end double strollers with a front wheel that turns easily. The cost was up to nearly $600, so I thought, these might actually be made in USA, right? Wrong. It didn’t say anywhere on their website where they were manufactured. It just says that they ” they took Philip’s [the inventor] invention and turned it into a revolution.” Nothing about “then we decided to make it in China for pennies and sell it to you for bookoo bucks!”
Here is the email they sent me in response to my inquiry:
Thank you for contacting BOB. All of our strollers are designed and engineered in Boise, Idaho and manufactured in China. We take great care in choosing which factories we work with. We have had a long-term business relationship with the factory we use and routinely check their work to assure our compliance with ASTM safety standards. We use independent testing labs to ensure our quality standards.
They try to put the best spin they can on it. Of course they’re going to say it’s safe, high quality, etc. They certainly can’t say that it’s good for our economy. I was so rankled by this blase attitude, especially in this time of economic distress, that I sent the reply below to their customer service rep:
I am really sad to hear that you don’t make your strollers in the US. Given the American can-do spirit of Roger and Phillip [the founders], it seemed that it would have been the way to go. Also, considering that you charge up to $600 for a stroller, does it really cost that much to get the Chinese to make it? Couldn’t you have made them here and still have charged the same price (not a low price, by any means)? It seems that Americans are getting a raw deal with manufacturers like yourselves. Rather than taking the time and making the investment to make your products here, you go the easy route and have someone else do it for you. Let me tell you, it is just a matter of time before the Chinese cut you out – why bother with a middleman when American shoppers could just go to the source? I certainly have no sympathy for your corporate profits when they come at the expense of American workers’ jobs.
As the founder of www.Madeinusablog.wordpress.com, I will be writing up my experiences and opinions about shopping for strollers and include your site. I hope that my blog will inspire our legislators to reward companies that do manufacture their products in the US, and penalize ones like yours.
I then searched google for made in usa strollers. Only Evenflo came up, but when I called them, they said that all their strollers are made in China also. Graco I know to be made in China also. I don’t understand why we have all these American manufacturers that blithely make their strollers in China. The Europeans make theirs in their own countries. MacLaren is still made in the UK and Peg-Perego is proudly made in Italy. Are we too stupid or too lazy to make our own? Or is it that our managers and industry leaders are? I think that it’s definitely the latter. Our leaders must take a hard stand on this kind of outsourcing that our industrialists have embraced. Likewise, we must protect our markets from unfair price competition. I will forward this post to the Obama administration – I hope they read it.
5/24/10 – Here is a very informative and useful email from one of our readers:
I’ve enjoyed reading your blog as I am also obsessed with buying American, or at least from companies who don’t excessively outsource production. My wife and I are expecting a baby girl in August and we’ve been having a terrible time finding a car seat/stroller combo not made in China.
We’d finally settled on a Britax car seat (made in USA of foreign and domestic components) and either a Peg Perego or Inglesina Italian stroller. But as we were looking again to see which model we liked we found out the Teutonia stroller actually had American parts on it. The stroller frame is made in Poland but the detachable baby car seat and its base were made in the USA with foreign and domestic components. The fabric lining is listed as made in Mexico, which we’re okay with all things considered. Even Britax doesn’t make their infant carriers in the US.
The total for car seat, base, and stroller body was $650 after tax which is a lot pricier than a standard Graco. But it’s still cheaper than the comparable Uppababy, Orbit, Buggaboo, and other Chinese made designer strollers. Plus it was much sturdier than every other stroller we tried. No random squeaks or rattles and very stable.
Poland and Mexico aren’t perfect but they should be treating their workers better than Asian countries outside of Japan. And the fact that they’re making some of it in the US is better than any other stroller company out there.
Just thought you’d like to know.
Just bought a Cosco booster seat. This one says “Made in USA from Domestic and Imported Parts.” The pad on it is made in China. Considering that it was only $39, that’s not bad. My wife got it without checking what was made in USA and assumed they were all made in China. So I guess we got lucky.