Google’s US smartphone factory to close during the sale of Motorola to Lenovo
Motorola, a US-based smartphone maker being sold by Google to Lenovo, has announced it will shut its only US smartphone assembly plant, in Fort Worth, Texas, by the end of this year.
According to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the facility employs 700 staff, significantly down from the 3500 staff it employed at its peak.
The factory, which assembles Moto X smartphones, was opened by Google chairman Eric Schmidt last year alongside a new smartphone customisation service called Moto Maker, which allowed customers to customise the shell and appearance of their smartphones.
Users received their built-to-order Moto X within one week of placing an order on the Moto Maker website, with the facility soon producing 100,000 units per week, with the company estimated to have shipped 900,000 units in total.
However, sales of the device were reportedly too weak to keep the plant going, with the company looking to focus on streamlining manufacturing while focusing on its low-end Moto G and Moto E smartphones.
The factory was at one time lauded by Motorola’s then chief executive, Dennis Woodside, as imaginative and visionary for assembling products in the US.