I would probably say that this time is very dynamic, and every day you need to look at yourself and change yourself to meet both the challenges and the opportunities that come up. We’re making products today and are in some businesses today that we never dreamt we’d be in, but sometimes you have to do it as a strategic move to make sure you can move forward with some of your basic products, and at the same time, I think you’ve got to look around and take advantage of some basic opportunities if you’re going to allow yourself to grow at a time like this.

: What’s your take on offshore manufacturing? It’s a hot-button topic with a lot of manufacturers I talk to. Do we just need to get better as an industry so businesses don’t need to go offshore, or what?

SB: Well, I think about it two ways. One is when you ask what I think about offshore, I visit China three or four times a year. I buy one product from there, but I visit China three or four times a year, and I think we’d better get ready to sell them something, because that’s going to be the next big market.

Now that’ll only be an opportunity that we’ll have for two or three years, but there’s going to be a hell of a lot of stuff from our country that’ll be bought by those people because they have the same kind of passion about cars that we had when we were kids. They’ve only had cars for a few years and it’s not very different from after World War II, when this whole car thing kind of reinvented itself. That’s going to be a huge market, and we’d better get ready to service it.

Now the other side of that, from the intellectual properties side and people ripping us off and a lot of companies from our country running over there to get things made, I think that’s all fixing itself right now. There’ll be another China; it’ll be Thailand, or it’ll be Vietnam, or somewhere in Northern Africa, but there will always be some country that’s willing to do it cheaper. And there will always be some products and some people in our country that are willing to exploit that to have a little bit of a price advantage.

Like I said, I have one thing made in China, and it’s no cheaper to make it there than it is in this country. The reason I go over there is that in this country we’ve gotten very lazy, and in order to make that particular type of product, they tell me it’s thirty to forty weeks of lead-time to make the tooling.  They’re lying when they say that. Over there they’ll do it in three of four weeks, so I can do things a lot quicker. I still bring them over here to machine them, but I have them cast over there.

I almost think that there’s two culprits in this deal. Yeah, there’s the Chinese people who come over and say they’ll do it cheaper and this and that, just show them what you want and they’ll knock it off. But somebody had to buy it. So we’re sometimes our own worst enemies over here in this country, feeding them all this information. The one thing they won’t know is what this stuff is and where it goes. Somebody in our country had to look at them and say, “I’ll take advantage of this.” And they’re the ones that had to buy the stuff, and I think that’s as much where it starts as anything. The Chinese are just doing what someone’s willing to pay for.