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Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs and moves smartphone manufacturing to Asia

Large staff reductions planned at Finnish, Mexican and Hungarian plants

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, is to cut 4,000 factory jobs in Finland, Hungary and Mexico as it shifts the assembly of its smartphones to Asia.

The move, designed to speed up production in the fast-moving smartphone market, will mean the loss of more than half of the 7,100 jobs at the three factories affected. The company has nine manufacturing plants in all.

The redundancies take the total number of planned job cuts at the group to more than 30,000 since Stephen Elop took over as chief executive in September 2010.

“Shifting device assembly to Asia is targeted at improving our time to market,” said Niklas Savander, Nokia’s executive vice president for markets. “By working more closely with our suppliers, we believe that we will be able to introduce innovations into the market more quickly and ultimately be more competitive.”

In Hungary, the Komarom plant will cut 2,300 out of 4,400 jobs. Reynosa in Mexico will be hit proportionally hardest, losing 700 out of 1,000 jobs. At the factory in Salo, Finland, 1,000 out of 1,700 production jobs will disappear.

The work of assembling phones will be handed to Nokia’s existing workforces in Masam, South Korea, and the Chinese capital, Beijing. The remaining European and Mexican workers will focus on customising phone software according to language requirements or the specifications of individual mobile networks.

The 3,500-strong design, research and development workforce at Salo is unaffected by the changes.

“We recognise the planned changes are difficult for our employees and we are committed to supporting our personnel and their local communities during the transition,” said Savander. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds