U.S., Motorola Open First Domestic Smartphone Factory

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You would certainly be forgiven for the belief that it’s nearly impossible to produce a smartphone in the United States and still maintain a profit margin. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is looking to both change that fact, and that perception. Google, who acquired Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI), along with Motorola’s manufacturing partner Flextronics International Ltd. (NASDAQ:FLEX) showed that very plant off this morning to news outlets around the United States.


Google’s CEO on advanced manufaturing

“American workers are ready for advanced manufacturing, complex tasks, reasonably sophisticated working environment and the kind of stuff we’re trying to do,” Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s CEO Eric Schmidt said. “We know it because it’s what we have here.”

The Longview, TX plant was formerly owned by Nokia and production on Motorola’s flagship Moto X handset began in earnest last month.

Mike McNamara, CEO of Flextronics International Ltd. (NASDAQ:FLEX), a Singapore-based contract electronics manufacturer who employs 250 people in Longview, TX, said the plant now is custom-assembling 100,000 Moto X Android phones each week in the plant. It’s expected that the plant will provide 2,500 local jobs in the near future.

Business expansion

In a recent interview, McNamara added that he was impressed by the sheer speed that the plant has been able to ramp up assembly and added that the new space also provides an opportunity for future expansion should it be viewed necessary or wanted.

Texas Governor Rick Perry was on hand for today’s event and used the occasion to make it known that Texas creates jobs under his stewardship.

“Make no mistake: Flextronics International Ltd. (NASDAQ:FLEX) and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI) could have put this facility anywhere in the world, but they chose Texas,” he said in a prepared statement.

Asia-based factories still account for the production of the chips, displays, and batteries that go into the Moto X, and make up the lion’s share of the cost of production. Assembly is a small part of the phone’s cost, but the jobs are welcome nonetheless.

Motorola users in America

Offsetting the fact that the primary components will need to be shipped from Asia is the fact that Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI) will be closer to the product’s end users in America. The Moto X allows for numerous customizable options to the phone and these should be turned around quicker given its domestic assembly.

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI) had called for the plant to create 2,000 new jobs but know believes that number will increase to 2,500 in the coming months.

Check out photos and a virtual tour here.

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