Motorola to close Texas smartphone factory


Motorola has confirmed it will close its smartphone factory in Fort Worth, Texas, The Wall Street Journal reports. The plant, which employed 700 staff and was responsible for the assembly of devices customized with Moto Maker, is unsustainable due to weak sales and high costs.

“What we found was that the North American market was exceptionally tough,” Motorola President Rick Osterloh told WSJ.

Building smartphones on American soil was an incredible ambition for Google — and it was proud of it. Its marketing for the flagship Moto X prominently featured the “assembled in U.S.” tagline, and the company was always keen to promote its decision to buck the trend and bring the smartphone assembly process back from Asia.

But despite being seemingly successful — and highly praised by the media and those who owned it — the Moto X simply didn’t sell enough to keep the Fort Worth factory going.

Motorola has already reduced the number of staff at the plant from around 3,000 to just 700, and by the end of the year, the vast majority of those who remain will likely be out of a job. Motorola has said, however, that the Moto Maker customization tool will still be available to those purchasing a Moto X.

Today’s announcement comes just four months after Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo.