Archive for the ‘Manufacturing’ category

Business Exodus From California Is More Troubling Than Sanctuary Policies

May 5, 2018

Really pleased that Chief Executive magazine recognized my research in today’s column, “Business Exodus From California Is More Troubling Than Sanctuary Policies.” Excerpts:

“California is facing a bigger issue than its tussle with the Federal government over sanctuary cities. According to a November report from the U.S Census Bureau, the Golden State has had 142,932 more residents exit to live in other states than people arriving from other states. This domestic outmigration was the second largest outflow in the U.S. behind New York and New Jersey ….

“[M]ore serious is the number of California-based companies that have left or signaled their intention to leave the state. Last year marks the first anniversary of the announcement that Carl’s Jr., a California burger icon for more than six decades, was relocating its headquarters to Nashville. It’s a symbol for what’s become a stream of businesses that have quit California. What was once an almost quiet exodus of companies now looks more like a stampede.

“In addition, two dozen California companies have said they are tired of the business-bashing in Sacramento, along with the high taxes — and are now threatening to leave the state.

“Business relocation expert Joe Vranich who, as president of … Spectrum Location Services … told Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) that from 2008 through 2015 …. that as many as 10,000 companies have left [California] in recent years.”

Here is the link to the full article:

One focus of this blog has been to address California’s perennially difficult business environment. Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow.


California Lithium Battery Maker Heads to Appalachia

January 5, 2018

It’s rare that I replicate posts from other sources. However the piece below by Wendell Cox, which appeared today in, may appeal to readers interested in corporate location issues.

It is starting out to be a happy new year in Pikeville, Kentucky. Little in technology is more “cutting edge” today that lithium battery manufacturing. Elon Musk last year chose Nevada, not California for his mega plant a few years ago. Now, lithium battery manufacturer Ener Blu has announced plans to move, “lock stock and barrel” from Riverside-San Bernardino, east of Los Angeles, to Appalachian Kentucky, with its plant to be located in Pikeville, to be built on what was a surface coal mine. Plans are to create 875 manufacturing jobs. Ener Blue also will move its headquarters to Lexington, Kentucky’s second largest metropolitan area and the home of the University of Kentucky.

Pikeville: A Unique Move

This could be a very significant move. On the surface, it looks fundamentally different from the many corporate moves that have left high-cost California behind as companies seek the greener pastures of lower taxes, less regulation and lower costs of living (driven largely by better housing affordability) in their efforts to recruit talented staff. The most significant examples are Japanese car manufacturers that have moved their US headquarters to Dallas-Fort Worth and Nashville, which have become major metropolitan areas capable of competing for just about any company looking to move, not to mention households seeking better opportunities as well as urban amenities at an affordable price.

But Pikeville is no Dallas-Fort Worth or Nashville. It is not even a micropolitan area, much less a metropolitan area. The city (municipality) had a population of under 7,100 in 2016, up just 200 from the 2010 census. Pikeville is the county seat of Pike County, which has a population of 61,000, down from 65,000 in 2010.

Appalachian Poverty

Pike County is at the core of one of America’s poorest regions, the Appalachians. Pike County’s economy has long been dependent on coal and even before recent setbacks, Appalachian coal regions have had more than their share of poverty. The recent declines in coal employment have been legendary. Eastern Kentucky has been particularly hard hit. In the last six years, nearly 75 percent of its coal jobs have been lost.

The latest data from the Appalachian Commission shows Pike County to have a poverty rate of 22.9 percent, 48 percent above the national poverty rate. Its poverty rate is more than double the overall poverty rate for the entire Appalachian region, which stretches from Upstate New York to Mississippi. The median household income is approximately 40 percent below the national figure.

Appalachian Hope

But not all see Pikeville as a place without a future. This would include prolific demographer Lyman Stone, who wrote more than one year ago about the progress that has been made in Pikeville, even as the rural and coal economy surrounding it declines. Pikeville has been rejuvenated by the expansion of its small university, the University of Pikeville, which has more than doubled its enrollment over the past two decades. Stone anticipates continued growth.

Moreover, there is more good news for Eastern Kentucky than just Pikeville. Braidy Industries has embarked on a project to build the first new aluminum plant in the United States in 30 years in Greenup County, on the south bank of the Ohio River west of Huntington, West Virginia. After the plant opens there are plans for more than 500 full time employees.

The tendency over the past few decades has been for the US to shed its manufacturing functions to lower cost venues overseas. At the same time, many areas have been left behind. As the cost of living differences expand between the more expensive metropolitan areas and the rest of the United States, it may be that US corporate interests, and others, will identify opportunities for profitable operation, while at the same time rejuvenating places that have been left behind, like Pikeville and Greenup County.

Meanwhile, back in Pikeville, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, Congressman Hal Rogers and Pikeville state Senator Ray Jones II, were present for Ener Blu’s Pikeville announcement. The Governor, according to U.S. News and World Report predicted that the company’s arrival would transform an area where the coal jobs have disappeared. Congressman Rogers added “this is where we’ve got a lot of workers needing work that are … capable, ready to go,” An elated Mayor Jimmy Carter referred to the development as revolutionary “for the city of Pikeville and all of Eastern Kentucky.”

Jones, the Democratic Kentucky Senate minority leader, acknowledged partisan differences with Republican Governor Matt Bevin, but added that he has nothing but praise for the Governor’s efforts to revitalize eastern Kentucky. He added that, first the Greenup County Braidy announcement and now Ener Blu are two of the most positive economic news in this state in many years.

The Beginning of a Trend?

The real question is whether Pikeville and Greenup County are just blips in the continuing decline of small town America. There are many more small towns that have been left behind in the changing economy. Indeed, there is a broad view that small towns have little or no future, the theme of a New Year’s Day Wall Street Journal feature, “The Divide Between America’s Prosperous Cities and Struggling Small Towns.” Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman even wonders if there is a future for some major metropolitan areas, such as Rochester, New York.

Yet the developments in Eastern Kentucky suggest the potential for an alternate narrative. Greenup County could indicate a revived potential for traditional manufacturing even in the post-industrial age. Pikeville could indicate the potential for “cutting edge” technology to find a home in small towns. Many small towns may not die at all, as they are rejuvenated by public policies in places like [business-hostile] California, where the cost of living and cost of doing business has increased by such a degree so that even the most advanced industries seek other venues.

Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy and demographics firm. He is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism (US), Senior Fellow for Housing Affordability and Municipal Policy for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (Canada), and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University (California). He is co-author of the “Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey” and author of “Demographia World Urban Areas” and “War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life.” He was appointed to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, where he served with the leading city and county leadership as the only non-elected member. He served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, a national university in Paris.

[Note: my research found that other California companies have relocated jobs or facilities to Kentucky, the most recent of which was Cafe Press Inc., which in 2016 closed its Hayward office and moved employees to its Middletown, Ky. headquarters. CafePress was founded in a California garage in 1999. The company moved its headquarters to Kentucky in 2012 – the same year it went public – Joe.]

One focus of this blog has been to address California’s perennially difficult business environment. Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow.

I’m grateful to Joel Kotkin, Executive Editor of, for permission to reprint the above column. The photo of the University of Pikeville and the map were extracted from a City of Pikeville Economic Development Video.

Newest Company to Leave California: An Environmentally Friendly One

April 16, 2016

Sometimes a news release so succinctly tells why a company is leaving California that all I need do is to replicate it, which I’m doing, below. But before doing so, I’ll mention that if you follow the subhead “Environmentally Friendly” that comes after the news release, you will see just how valuable the company is that has decided to exit California.

General Magnaplate To Close California Facility After 36 Years

County of VenturaVENTURA, Calif., April 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — General Magnaplate Corp has announced this week that it will be closing its Ventura, CA, facility and will serve West Coast customers directly from its Arlington, TX and Linden, NJ operations. The engineering coatings company has reported two main reasons for the facility closure: difficult business conditions created by the State of California and the settlement of a potential lawsuit against subsidiary General Magnaplate California threatened by the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) of Santa Barbara, CA. The EDC claimed that General Magnaplate Corp. had violated the Clean Water Act, which the Company vigorously denies.

“After 36 successful years in Ventura we have made the extremely difficult decision to close our facility,” reports Candida Aversenti, CEO of General Magnaplate Corporation, a woman owned company. “This is a very sad day for our employees and for my family who have a long history of job creation in this area, but the simple fact is that the State of California does not provide a business friendly environment. Increases in Workers Compensation costs and government regulations, combined with predatory citizens groups and law firms that make their living entirely by preying on small businesses, have left us with no other choice but to shut down our California facility. This is in stark contrast to our New Jersey and Texas facilities which are flourishing in small business-friendly environments created by the respective local governments and environmental agencies.”

Reacting to the allegations by the EDC that the company’s facility was discharging polluted storm water into the Santa Clara River, General Magnaplate’s President and COO, Edmund Aversenti, commented, “General Magnaplate is not in violation of the Clean Water Act and ongoing investigations suggest that the alleged polluted storm water runoff from our facility actually came on to our property from neighboring properties exempt from CWA compliance. We have agreed to settle with the EDC for purely economic reasons. This is particularly upsetting given that we have a strong SWPPP (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan) in place at the California facility and have contracted consultants to insure that we are in compliance. General Magnaplate takes great pride in being environmentally responsible corporate citizens.”

Candida Aversenti added, “General Magnaplate’s coatings have an inherently positive effect on the environment, something that our founder, Dr. Covino, promoted many years before the current environmental trend.”

“He believed that the advancement of metal coatings would have a positive impact on the use of natural resources. Because our coatings improve the performance of metals, more abundant common metals can be used as substitutes, thereby preserving rare alloy ores. And by using coatings to preserve the life of metal parts, our customers are also able to reduce the amount of raw materials required for manufacturing and decrease the amount of scrap. Furthermore, reducing the need to make new parts also conserves energy used in manufacturing processes. There are many, many positive environmental effects to be had from the use of coatings for metal components.”

Anthony Strauss of the Strauss Law Group, which represented General Magnaplate in its case with the EDC, commented, “It is sad to see yet another employer leave the area. California is earning a reputation as a non-friendly business state and it’s the employees that are paying the ultimate price.”

Environmentally Friendly

So, what kind of company is saying goodbye to California? Well, I found this information in a holiday message to employees:

General Magnaplate would like to share with you some of the ways we contribute to charitable causes, and humanitarian and educational programs in our community and worldwide.

General Magnaplate has continued its membership with the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum’s Anchor Society. The Society supports the Museum’s many education programs, exhibitions and maintenance of their extensive collection of historic artifacts. Since 1982, the mission of the Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark, has been to promote the awareness and understanding of history, science and service to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire youth.

In 2015 a new program was launched for returning military personnel with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions and their families. Educational programs were also expanded this past year for adults in transitional housing and children in foster care, reaching over 1100 individuals. Previously, we made a donation to the Intrepid to help rebuild the Space Shuttle Enterprise’s pavilion damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

In past years, we have donated to Puppies Behind Bars, Heifer International, the American Red Cross, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Kaleidoscope of Hope, Special Olympics, and the American Cancer Society.

General Magnaplate set up scholarships with Endicott College and Pepperdine University, to fund programs which enable single parents to have a residential college experience with their child, and for foster children to complete their education.

Here in Linden [New Jersey], we support our local community, contributing to emergency services, arts and education programs, donate to our town’s food bank and hire help from ARC, a county agency which helps those with disabilities find employment.

In our plants, we’ve celebrated Earth Day for many years, cleaning up our work areas and parking lots, planting flowers and trees, and continue to enjoy vegetables from our company garden. We recycle plastic bags, bottles, cans and paper. Our California facility had solar panels installed to reduce their energy consumption, and we continue to look for ways to conserve energy and resources. We greatly appreciate the assistance of all our employees in helping us to help others and the environment all year long.

California Politicians

Will California’s business-bashing politicians like Gov. Jerry Brown or his “jobs czar” Mike Rossi apologize to the General Magnaplate employees for perpetuating an environment that is causing them to lose their jobs?

Will Senators Kevin de Leon or Fran Pavley, who represent parts of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, stop their continual support of the kind of regulatory madness that abuses businesses like General Magnaplate?

I don’t think so. That’s why we will see more companies departing California in general and the Los Angeles region in particular.

The company’s leaving California news release is here.

General Magnaplate’s holiday message that outlines it’s impressive environmental and community contributions is here.

One focus of this blog has been to address California’s perennially difficult business environment. Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow. Also, Joe has been a Keynote Speaker for more than 20 years – see A Speaker Throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.

Note to California Manufacturers: Brace Yourself for Higher Costs

May 30, 2015

I’m indebted to Tom Martin, Executive Director & Legislative Chairman of the Small Manufacturers Association of California, for permission to reprint this column, which I shortened a bit. Credit is also due Michael B. Marois, a Bloomberg reporter, for his focus on this event that inspired Mr. Martin’s column.

California manufacturers from food processors to apparel makers are warning costs will skyrocket if state regulators proceed with a plan to reduce their allocations of free greenhouse gas emission credits.

Starting in 2018, some companies California considers to be at risk of losing business to competitors outside the state’s landmark emissions cap and trade market will receive up to 50 percent fewer free pollution credits. That means they will either have to buy more allowances at auction or invest in ways to cut carbon pollution even more.

California has the toughest greenhouse gas curbs in the U.S., seeking to cut discharges to 1990 levels by 2020. The pushback from industry comes as Gov. Jerry Brown and other state Democratic leaders are looking to advance those climate change policies further even as business leaders warn that lack of a national and global carbon emission market puts companies in the state at a competitive disadvantage.

“Manufacturers are the canaries,” said Dorothy Rothrock, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. “All of the costs in this system are radiating up and concentrate in manufacturing. It’s cumulative and it’s not happening anywhere else like this. California is doing it to its manufacturers in a way that no other state is contemplating.”

Brown has proposed cutting the state’s petroleum consumption in half by 2030 in an effort to curb carbon pollution. He also wants to expand renewable energy mandates to require utilities to obtain 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources, up from 33 percent.

Marois reports that California has capped greenhouse-gas emissions from industry since 2013 and began imposing limits on transportation fuel suppliers this year. The statewide cap, set at about 394.5 metric tons for 2015, shrinks roughly 3 percent annually to achieve a 15 percent reduction by 2020.

Companies must surrender allowances that permit the release of a metric ton of carbon dioxide. While allowances, issued by the state, are sold in quarterly auctions, most have been handed out for free, with industries such as food manufacturing receiving allocations as transitional assistance.

State Allowances Shrinking

The total state allowances available shrinks with the cap over time, and so do the handouts. Under the current level of free allowances, the state is on track to meet the 2020 limit, Rothrock said.

“You don’t need to do it to reach the 2020 goal,” she added. “It’s simply increasing the amount of revenue that will be raised by the state. It’s just a tax.” [Note: There are other ways California’s politicians want to increase taxes on businesses in 2015, but that’s another story. – J.V.]

California’s program is intended to operate in a global market where companies in other states and in other countries would face similar pressures to reduce emissions or spend money to buy pollution credits. California a year ago linked its cap and trade market to one in Quebec.

Companies in California already are some of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly in the nation because of climate-change programs.

The state gets 23 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and is on track to meet its 33 percent goal by 2020. That compares with 13 percent nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“It’s going to be an additional cost of doing business in California that only the one or two affected steel mills in California will have to pay,” said Brett Guge, executive vice president of finance and administration for California Steel Industries Inc. a maker of flat-rolled steel in San Bernardino County. “We will do everything we can to comply, but it’s a big concern.”

During the state’s auctions, companies submit confidential bids for the number of allowances they want at specific prices. The highest bidder is awarded permits first, and then the second-highest, and so on until all of the permits for sale have been called. Then all bidders pay the price of the lowest winning offer.

The state is supposed to spend the money it earns from the auctions on projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Brown’s budget estimates the state will earn about $1 billion from carbon auctions in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Emission Reduction Increases Costs

Also, manufacturers’ cost to transport goods and materials is higher because transportation fuel suppliers are now required to participate in carbon-emission reduction programs.

Manufacturers in the state paid an average of 11.93 cents per kilowatt-hour in November, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That was 79 percent higher than the national average of 6.67 cents.

“We are doing everything we can to be as efficient as we can, but at the end the day, if you burn natural gas, which we have to do, there will be carbon emissions,” Guge said. “When you look around the world, the hunger for carbon-based energy isn’t diminishing, it’s growing. So whatever California does, it certainly has a cost to companies here, but it’s not making a dent in worldwide carbon emissions.”

One focus of this blog has been to address California’s perennially difficult business environment. Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow. Also, Joe has been a Keynote Speaker for more than 20 years – see A Speaker Throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.

Onshoring: Ford Shifts Some Manufacturing from Spain & Mexico to Cleveland Area

March 9, 2015

The Ford Motor Co. branded an engine EcoBoost, a name designed for a motor that reduces fuel consumption and emissions. However, when it comes to Northeast Ohio, EcoBoost could also mean “Economy Boost” as Ford moves production from Spain and Mexico to the region.

An official from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland recently said the city is enjoying a genuine economic turnaround — a view that the Cleveland Plain Dealer said was a “strong message of optimism” they’re not used to hearing.

Mark Schweitzer, a senior vice president at the bank, noted that Cleveland’s economic performance today is healthier than in the last decade and a key for the future will be the ability of businesses to be innovative and develop new products.

Ford is doing its part by shifting production of EcoBoost engines for North America from Valencia, Spain to its plant located in Brook Park, a Cleveland suburb.

This is the first time the technologically advanced engines are being produced in the United States; they will be used in the all-new Ford Edge, Mustang, Explorer and Lincoln MKC.

Starting in 2013, Ford invested nearly $200 million and added 450 jobs at the plant to support production for the EcoBoost. The facility also builds other engines.

The Plain Dealer reports: “Officials say the surviving plant’s 1.7 million square feet are fully in use now, with more than 1,300 workers…. Elsewhere in Northeast Ohio, Ford is shutting its plant in Walton Hills but investing $168 million in Avon Lake to take over production of F-650 and F-750 trucks from Mexico.”

For some time now, the Northeast Ohio region has seen employment growth in sectors such as biomedical, professional, scientific and technical services. Also, aerospace represents a significant cluster in the region.

The area’s manufacturing sector has expanded somewhat in the last couple of decades — growth that will be boosted further by the onshoring of EcoBoost production to Ohio and upcoming nearshoring work from Mexico.


Plain Dealer: “Cleveland is enjoying economic revival, Fed official says, while nation overall continues to rebound”

Plain Dealer: “Ford in Brook Park now making four-cylinder EcoBoost engines”

Company news release: “Ford Cleveland Engine Plant Begins Production….”

Team NEO (Northeast Ohio): “January 2015 Quarterly Economic Review: Northeast Ohio’s Economy Diversifies”

One focus of this blog has been to address California’s perennially difficult business environment. Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow. Also, Joe has been a Keynote Speaker for more than 20 years – see A Speaker Throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.


Chief Executive Magazine Issues 2014 State Biz Climate Rankings

May 11, 2014

In its latest survey, Chief Executive magazine again ranked Texas the best state for business, followed by Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.

I’ve publicly predicted that the survey would rank California the worst state for business for the 10th year in a row because of what has been happening with tax increases and more employer-unfriendly labor laws. Out-of-control public pension obligations are also a concern because they represent “tax increases in waiting.”

Well, that 10-year mark is exactly what happened. So, again, California ranks 50th. Rounding out the bottom five are New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Here are some of the magazine’s observations:

California has gained breathing space since Governor Jerry Brown took office and is credited with a budget surplus. But despite the return of fiscal discipline, it has exchanged acute problems for merely chronic ones. It is a state that continues high personal income tax rates and regulates with a very heavy hand. Its top, marginal tax rate of 33 percent is the third-highest tax rate in the industrialized world, behind only Denmark and France.

Note: I have no intention of starting an argument with the fine folks at Chief Executive. However, considering Sacramento’s plans to increase spending by billions of dollars on wretched projects, and with new tax increases being proposed, I doubt that we in this state have a “return of fiscal discipline.”

The magazine also states:

“California likes to say that Texas can have all those low-wage jobs,” says Richard Fisher, CEO of the Dallas Federal Reserve, “but from 2000 to 2012, job growth percentage change by wage quartile was better in Texas.” Texas won another bragging right last February when Site Selection magazine reported that it surpassed California in global technology exports in 2012.

Congratulations to JP Donlon, Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive and to the magazine’s team for a remarkable and valuable survey.

See 2014 Best & Worst States for Business and the State Rankings. Clicking on the name of a state in the rankings column will bring you to additional information.

One focus of this blog has been to address California’s perennially difficult business environment. Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow. Also, Joe has been a Keynote Speaker for more than 20 years – see A Speaker Throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.

Foxconn Selects Central Pa. For High-Tech Plant

November 24, 2013

It’s long been known in site selection circles that Foxconn Technology Group has been looking for a community in the United States in which to locate a new manufacturing facility. Details as to which areas were being evaluated have been known to only a select group of economic development officials.

Now we know. Yesterday Foxconn announced it will invest $30 million in Pennsylvania for a plant to manufacture electronic components. About 500 jobs will be created in a facility expected to be in or near Harrisburg.

Company Chairman Terry Gou said about the new facility: “We’ll go from original component R&D through to a complete high-end production chain. However this is not, as assumed, manufacturing for a specific brand…. We won’t be migrating Chinese production lines, but creating high-precision, high-tech, high value-added manufacturing in the U.S for future technology trends.”

According to the Economic Development BlogGou reportedly met with Gov. Tom Corbett “before deciding on selecting the state for the investment and signing an MOU with Pennsylvania for the project. FoxConn is not asking for any state incentives.” [Emphasis added.]

The Harrisburg Patriot-News cautioned, “It was not immediately clear whether Foxconn will be the company behind the proposed investment of a Apple repair facility near Carlisle.”

The announcement included good news for the western part of the state. Foxconn will invest $10 million in research and development at Carnegie Mellon University.  According to a Pittsburgh Business Times story, the university will be working with Pennsylvania and Foxconn “on a research initiative to bring high-tech manufacturing jobs to the state [and] work with Foxconn to integrate robotics and advanced manufacturing techniques into the company’s manufacturing process.

The company, bowing to pressure to manufacture more of its products in the United States, is believed to have additional domestic locations under study.

Foxconn is the commonly known trade name for Hon Hai Precision Industry, which is based in Taiwan and is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer. It’s customers include Apple, Cisco, Dell, Nokia and Sony. Foxconn Electronics currently has an operation in Harrisburg with 30 employees.

One focus of this blog has been to address California’s perennially difficult business environment. Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow. Also, Joe has been a Keynote Speaker for more than 20 years – see A Speaker Throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.