Peloton has announced plans to invest $ 400 million in a U.S. factory to produce its connected bikes and treadmills, located in Troy Township, Ohio, about half an hour south of Toledo. The facility, which is expected to be around a million square feet, is called Peloton Output Park. Peloton is hoping this will eventually lead to lower prices for its products, although CEO John Foley admits it could take a few years.
Currently, Peloton mainly manufactures its fitness equipment in Taiwan, while many of its customers are in the United States. This resulted in costly shipping delays earlier this year as the company faced increased demand and long shipping times as a result of the pandemic. The company’s plant announcement is also colored by the shadow of its security concerns and the subsequent recall of its treadmill, as well as a potential data breach.
US-based manufacturing companies are a reliable way for tech companies to generate positive press, and they can sometimes struggle to live up to the hype. Recent examples include the infamous Foxconn factory in Wisconsin and the “new” “Apple” factory, which then-President Donald Trump bragged about, which was neither new nor operated by Apple. For its part, Peloton is promising 2,000 new jobs in a reasonably rural area, but the proof will be in the actual deployment of the Ohio Plant Platoons, which the company says is scheduled for 2023. According to its post announcement, the company is currently working with local and state partners to finalize the plans.
The Ohio plant may not be the first to produce Peloton equipment in the United States: The company bought fitness equipment maker Precor late last year, which owns factories in Washington and North Carolina. Peloton hopes to start building some equipment at these factories by the end of this year.