TheVengefulOne wrote:But why go to China in the first place? I'm guessing labor costs is the most likely answer.
Hard to say. A whole lot of things are cheaper / easier in China. Warehousing, distribution, manufacturing, logistics, etc. If I had to guess, I'd say it has more to do with a need for flexible production capacity than for low labor costs. Because of the way the Chinese manufacturing infrastructure works, it's way, way easier to ramp production upwards and downwards on short notice in China than in the rest of the world.
If I need somebody to produce a million of something in the Americas or Europe then I have to build or buy dedicated factories and warehouse space, hire a bunch of people as dedicated employees, etc., and then if I don't have to produce a million of something anymore I either have to keep paying for all that stuff as dead weight or else I have to go through layoffs and liquidations at brutal losses - and good luck re-hiring any of those people I burned this year if I need to produce a million of something next year.
In China the setup is just way easier. You find factories with extra production capacity, rent them out for a couple of months, they make your million of whatever item, and then when you're done you release them to whoever else has things they want to make a million of.
Labor / manufacturing costs are a lot more likely to be the answer for the company-owned factories in Mexico, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. But now that I'm googling about it, it looks like they're building a permanent facility in China as well pretty soon to start marketing directly to Chinese consumers: https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/news ... y-in-china