Motorola Mobility made headlines when the company opened a new factory in Texas to manufacture the Moto X smartphone in 2013. A year later Motorola says it’ll shut down that factory by the end of 2014.

Motorola had hoped to challenge the perception that manufacturing in the United States was too expensive… but it looks like it really was. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company decided costs were too high and sales too low to justify keeping the plant open.

Motorola Moto X

It’s possible there’s another factor at play: In 2013 Motorola was owned by US-based Google. Now Google’s in the process of completing a sale of Motorola to Lenovo, which is based in China — but Motorola president Rick Osterloh tells the WSJ that the decision to shutter the factory has nothing to do with the sale to Lenovo.

The Moto X will continue to be manufactured… but it’ll be built at plants in Brazil, China, and other countries.

It’s worth noting that Motorola’s other big-name phones including the low-cost Moto G and Moto E were never manufactured in the US.

Update: While the US facility played a role in Motorola’s Moto Maker design-your-own phone service, the company has no plans to kill Moto Maker when the manufacturing plant shuts down.

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12 replies on “Motorola ends its experiment with US manufacturing”

  1. You cannot blame any administration…its just corporate greed. Company’s don’t care about people or country they just care about $ until republicans and democrats are willing to work for pennies on the dollar jobs aren’t coming back to the US irrespective of who is in office.

  2. elect a real President and senate and business will come back….so you libs like to say dont export jobs…well would you buy a smart phone that costs 2500 dollars made here,,would that make you feel better,,,your free kin hypocrites you Liberal haks are.

    1. JJmoose, here’s an article by those communists at the Wall Street Journal. Here you’ll see the real reason that Motorala is shutting down the plant. Sales of the Moto X were too weak to support the cost structure — labor and shipping. Here:

      “Poor Moto X sales meant the company couldn’t achieve economies of scale, he said, while costs for labor and shipping parts were higher than in overseas plants.”

      You’ll no doubt persist in your FoxNews-fed fantasy land that the plant closure is due to Benghazi, ObamaCare, and the Easter Bunny.

  3. thanks to obama i think this country still makes tooth picks…that the company decided costs were too high and sales too low to justify keeping the plant open.

  4. i applaud their effort but its not possible to compete with the Chinese because this country is run by anti-American Anti-business, high taxing . high regulated , obama and his cronies..besides obamacare was a factor,,,they dont want to be forced to provide peoples every need…so long Motorola choi………………that the company decided costs were too high and sales too low to justify keeping the plant open.costs people costs….what the hell do you think that means!!!thanks again Liberals

    1. First off, it would be useful for you to learn to spell and use grammar correctly. It’s sad to see our great English language butchered like this. Are you fresh off the boat?
      Second, to blame the Obama administration — including the ACA — is just fantasy. Taxes on business in the US are a joke, especially so in places like Texas. As for Obamacare being a factor, you simply made that up.

      1. Seriously, look how dumb jjmoose is. Zero understanding of labor expenses outside of right-wing hyperbole. Total lack of perspective WRT political framing. Obama gets the blame for the factory closing, but jjmoose probably had nothing to say when it opened (also under Obama). He imagines businesses only do well under Republican presidents – are we pretending either Bush presidency was economically vibrant, now?

        He somehow doesn’t understand that “Ciao” is Italian, instead imagining it to be some Chinese farewell word “Choi” (it’s a surname in Korea and China). How does someone even get to that point? Ciao sounds like chow, it’s nothing like Choi.

        I’m going to scan through old articles to see whether jjmoose is a perpetually-angry freeper Republican, or just got peeved by this one post.

  5. I work in a electronic manufacturing factory (OEM PCB assembly) and I can tell you – the labor cost of electronics is the smallest part of the cost of a product. The PCB is often the most expensive component. If labor is more than 1.5% of the total cost of the product, you need to go back and re-design.

    We’ve gone up against company owned China plants and even when the logistics cost is not added we still beat their rate; remember, they have to make money also.

    Companies don’t want to build in the USA for two reasons – the burden of regulatory rates is much less in China and other 3rd world countries – yes even they have competition – and the uncertainty of the US government rules which seem to drop out of the sky. Yes, these are costs, but it’s the hassle of keeping up the regs, especially if your operation does not output any other hazardous items. Doesn’t matter – you still have to do exactly what the bad guys do.

  6. That’s unfortunate. I just got a Moto X Developer Edition for Verizon last month due to the other flagship phones being too much of a jump from my 4.3″ screened Droid 4. At least based on my current perception of “big”. Also, it made me feel like I was helping the US economy being a US resident and all. It’s a great phone so far.

    Not sure if I’ll get the next Motorola phone though. I like pretending I’m supporting my country by buying from US companies. Especially when they manufacture their products in the US as well. Are there no more US companies putting out mid/high-end Android phones now?

  7. “the decision to shutter the factory has nothing to do with the sale to Lenovo” – Yeah right! As if Lenovo is going to keep a factory in the US when it already has operations in China.

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