Part of complete coverage on
Model trains and planes motor their way back home
August 1, 2013 -- Updated 1751 GMT (0151 HKT)
- Part of Hornby's Airfix range, the iconic model plane kit, will soon be made in the UK
- Now the company can react to market demand much faster and the CEO can keep an eye on the quality
- In China private-sector wages rose 14% in 2012, up from a 12.3% increase in 2011
(CNN) -- UK company Hornby's model planes and trains have been made in low-cost emerging markets for decades. Now, piece by piece, production is being brought back home.
Hornby's iconic model plane kit, part of the company's Airfix range, will soon be made in the UK. The company will be making up to 1,000 of the kits a day.
"It's a very British brand with huge heritage.. once upon a time it was all manufactured here in the UK," says Roger Canham, Hornby chief executive. "Airfix actually went to India, but the marketplace is changing now."
Read more: How the skies tell Head if business will be sunny or gloomy
Hornby's reversal is the latest in the trend of "backshoring" that has seen British businesses such as Topshop, Symington's, Caldeira, and DFS, all repatriating some manufacturing from China in the face of rising labor costs overseas.
Canham says offshoring production has never been easy. "Some of the difficulties you have are going to a different time zone, talking to people who don't necessarily speak the same language, actually, or culturally, or even technically."
Watch more: Sorrell: Eurozone needs leaders
Those were challenges Canham was willing to face when the cost-saving was significant. But such benefits are no longer a given.
In China, private-sector wages rose 14% in 2012, compared to a 12.3% increase the previous year, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. The ageing population has led to a shrinking labor force, likely to contribute to rising wages in years to come.
Read more: Telecoms boss: Croatia needs reforms
This isn't Hornby's first back-pedal on production in an emerging market. Earlier this year, it brought some of its Humbrol paint facility back from China following labour disputes and concerns about quality. Offshoring production also meant there was a lag time in meeting consumer demand.
"Just the physical shipping time will be about four weeks," Canham says. "So even if we found out today that this product was selling very strongly and we placed additional orders, that's four weeks of the market that we have potentially missed."
Now the company can react to market demand much faster and the chief executive can keep an eye on the quality of the production of the Airfix models, once more labeled "Made in Britain."
Part of complete coverage on
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
November 11, 2013 -- Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT)
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
November 1, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
October 31, 2013 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.
Today's five most popular stories