October 02, 2012, 4:43 PM — Lenovo on Tuesday said it will open its first computer manufacturing plant in the U.S., where it will make laptops, PCs and tablets sold under its Think brand.
Lenovo will open the factory early next year in Whitsett, North Carolina, where it said it will create about 115 manufacturing jobs. It will be Lenovo's first factory in the U.S., supplementing plants in Mexico, Brazil and its home base of China.
The factory will make newer products including its ThinkPad Tablet 2 and its ThinkCentre M92p Tiny desktop, the company said. It won't be making the first wave of Tablet 2's, however, which are expected to go on sale later this month.
Lenovo was the world's second largest PC maker behind Hewlett-Packard at the end of the second quarter, but is growing at a fast rate and quickly closing in on the top spot, according to Gartner and IDC. As of Friday, analysts at the research firms could not yet predict whether Lenovo would take the top spot from HP in the third quarter that just ended, but said the race was pretty close.
Lenovo has had a strong market presence in Asia-Pacific and Europe, and is still growing in the U.S. The factory will help better serve the U.S. market, the company said. Lenovo's main U.S. operations are in North Carolina, and the company also has a distribution center in that state.