Motorola closing Texas plant that brought us the Moto X

There were a lot of reasons to be excited about the Moto X when Motorola introduced the phone last summer, and one of its more unusual claims to fame was that the handset would be assembled right here in the US. By contrast, we’re used to smartphones being fully manufactured before they’re imported into the country. We had our concerns that employing a US workforce might drive the phone’s cost up, but not only did the Moto X end up being one of the most affordable, best values around, but the plant’s US location allowed customized phones to arrive on users’ doorsteps just days after their orders were placed. Unfortunately, this experiment with US smartphone assembly will soon be drawing to a close, as Motorola confirms its intention to close the facility by the end of the year.

It looks like concerns with expenses are behind the decision, and despite our affinity for the Moto X, the phone never managed to sell in high enough numbers for economies of scale to deliver the savings Motorola was hoping for. Combining that with the higher cost of labor and shipping in the US, and Motorola can’t justify keeping the plant running.

Manufacture of the Moto X (and presumably, its follow-up) will continue at other facilities around the world, including factories in China and Brazil. Lenovo’s current effort to acquire Motorola was reportedly not a factor in the decision to close the Texas plant.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!