Lego Building $1 Billion Factory In Virginia

(Photo credit: Alphacolor/Unsplash)
(Photo credit: Alphacolor/Unsplash)

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If you’re an American parent sick of stepping on Lego bricks in bare feet, look away now.

One of the few toy companies turning a profit at the moment, Lego wants to take advantage of retail momentum and America’s newfound interest in manufacturing growth. The Danish powerhouse announced on Monday that it’s going for a big sales push in the US, one week after breaking ground on a new $1 billion factory in Richmond, Virginia. After all, Lego is all about building things, and if America wants to start making stuff again, the Danes are here to help.

Brick by Brick

Although it’s a global household name, Lego has long enjoyed higher market penetration in its home continent of Europe than it has in the US, a discrepancy that is particularly dramatic in the American South. “On the east coast and in the north, we’re already very strong but it leaves a lot of potential elsewhere and we think we can succeed with that over the coming years,” COO Carsten Rasmussen told Bloomberg.

The Virginia factory marks the first-ever Lego facility in the US, though it does have three Legoland theme parks stateside. Previously its America-bound bricks were all made in its Mexico facility, which also will be expanding. The Danish company isn’t the only one to be wrapping itself in the red, white, and blue:

  • Clean tech and semiconductor companies have committed to roughly $200 billion in manufacturing projects – almost doubling spending in the sector since the previous year – since the Biden Administration introduced a garland of subsidies last year with the Inflation Reduction Act, per an analysis by the Financial Times.
  • About a third of those projects come from foreign investors, most notably allies in Asia including Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, who may be using the subsidies to diversify their supply chains to be less reliant on China.

Going Green to Yellow Figurines: The IRA and the green jobs it could create were seen as a big opportunity for Virginia, which has struggled with a decline in jobs thanks to coal production in the state falling 70% since 1990. Lego’s arrival is a signal that the manufacturing hoopla may be spreading beyond the green sector, although the toy company is also making climate consciousness a big part of its messaging. Lego says its Virginia facility, which is slated to open in 2025, will be carbon neutral.