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TMCNet:  Motorola to shut down Chennai manufacturing facility [Hardware] [Times of India]

[December 12, 2012]

Motorola to shut down Chennai manufacturing facility [Hardware] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BANGALORE: Motorola Mobility, the handset maker that is now owned by Google, is indefinitely suspending operations at its phone assembly and packaging unit in Chennai that it started in 2008 with an investment of Rs 172 crore. The suspension will be effective February next year. The 76 employees involved in the business will be laid off.


William Moss, spokesperson for Motorola Mobility, said the move was part of a global supply chain streamlining that the company was doing. "We are now fulfilling customer orders directly from factories, and we have no current or forecast production requirements that would require the continued use of our Chennai facility," Moss told TOI from Singapore.

He said the decision was taken after working to identify other opportunities for the facility to continue operating. The unit, which Motorola Mobility calls a customer fulfillment centre, does some software installation on the phones, some finishing and packaging.

Moss said the company understood that it was difficult for the employees who are impacted. "We are working with them to settle all dues, provide relief packages and to help them find other opportunities," he said.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility last year for $12.5 billion. In August this year, Google began a major restructuring of the handset maker when it announced that 4,000 jobs - a fifth of the workforce - at Motorola Mobility would be laid off. It said two-thirds of the job losses would be from outside the US, and that a third of Motorola's 94 offices worldwide would be closed. Google expected to bear severance costs of up to $275 million by end of 2012.

Google is trying to follow Apple in creating a company that controls both the software and hardware in smartphones. Google has said it would not give Motorola any special treatment over other companies building Android handsets.

The announcement about the Chennai unit comes a day after Google announced that Flextronics, the Singapore-based electronics manufacturing services company, would acquire Motorola's manufacturing operations in Tianjin, China, and would also assume the management and operation of its Jaguariuna, Brazil, facility.

On Tuesday, Motorola Mobility also announced that it would close most operations in South Korea, including R&D and cellphone sales. Moss said Motorola would continue to maintain its R&D centres for mobile devices and home business, home business go-to-market, corporate IT and other corporate functions in India.

(c) 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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