How do you explain Toyota's success in manufacturing in the US, don't they have to pay the same tax rates? Don't they paid for expensive US health insurance? Don't they paid competitive salaries that are greater than they do in their asian joint-ventures even if they aren't unionized? General Motors got a $50 billion tax credit against future profits.
And how does this logic apply to Intel and it's super capital intensive fabs? They're mostly automated too, but according to the same logic, they should all be located in countries with the lowest tax rates, lowest salaries, and lowest health insurance. Yet, Intel does not do so, and I would gather that the predominant variable for Intel is yields, and that labor and tax costs are not the primary advantage of their competitiveness, but the fact that they build cutting edge fabs and stay technologically ahead of their competitors.
It seems to me that not automation is created equal, that success or failure is a function of both manufacturing costs as well a competitive moat around the product itself. Apple phones would probably sell just as well if they used more expensive labor or robots.