Peloton has announced plans to invest $400 million in a US factory to produce its connected bikes and treadmills, located in Troy Township, Ohio — about half an hour south of Toledo. The facility, which is planned to be approximately a million square feet, is called the Peloton Output Park. Peloton hopes it will eventually lead to lower prices for its products, though its CEO John Foley admits that could take a few years to happen.
Currently, Peloton mainly manufactures its fitness equipment in Taiwan, while many of its customers are in the US. This caused expensive shipping delays earlier this year as the company ran into both heightened demand and long shipping times resulting from the pandemic. The company’s factory announcement is also colored by the shadow of its safety struggles and subsequent recall of its treadmill, as well as a potential data leak.
US-based manufacturing ventures 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 Foxconn’s infamous plant in Wisconsin and the “new” “Apple” factory, which then-president Donald Trump bragged about, that was neither new, nor operated by Apple. For its part, Peloton is promising 2,000 new jobs coming to a reasonably rural area, but the proof will be in the actual Pelotons rolling out from the Ohio factory, which the company says is planned for 2023. According to its announcement post, the company is currently working with local and state partners to finalize plans.
The Ohio factory may not be the first producing Peloton equipment in the US: the company purchased fitness equipment maker Precor late last year, which has factories in Washington and North Carolina. Peloton reportedly hopes to start building some equipment in those factories by the end of this year.