Kent International Opens First U.S. Bicycle Manufacturing Facility
In January of 2013, Walmart made a commitment to bring jobs and manufacturing back to the United States. According to their plan, by 2023, Walmart will have purchased $250 billion in products supporting American jobs. This initiative will create an estimated 1 million new jobs in the United States.
After learning of Walmart’s dedication to bringing “made in America” goods back to its shelves, Kent International immediately jumped on board. In December of 2013, a factory location was chosen to begin our first American assembled line of bicycles.
Bicycle Corporation of America officially opened its doors in October of 2014, in Manning, South Carolina, employing only 47 people, assembling 400 bikes each day. The employees of BCA are paid well above minimum wage, and are offered health coverage and retirement plan options.
Today, there are 115 full time employees assembling 1,500 bikes per day. This assembly program will eventually give way to a full blown bicycle manufacturing factory. In fall of this year, powder coating will be operational, and in 2017 a state of the art painting facility attached to the existing factory will be completed.
By 2020, BCA aims to employ at least 235 people, and produce one million bicycles. By 2020, welding machinery and advanced welding robots will be able to help produce 2,000 bicycles per 8 hour shift.