Finnish phone maker Nokia today outlined plans to shed roughly 4,000 workers combined from three separate smartphone production plants in Komarom, Hungary, Reynosa, Mexico, and Salo, Finland. What remains of the three factories will focus on smartphone product customization for customers mainly in Europe and the Americas, while smartphone production at large will be diverted to Asia where the majority of component suppliers hang their hats, Nokia said.
With so much production being shifted to Asia, Nokia anticipates a substantial decrease in manufacturing and overall work required at its three affected factories, hence the layoffs, which represents about 7 percent of Nokia's workforce.
"Shifting device assembly to Asia is targeted at improving our time to market. 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," said Savander. "We recognize the planned changes are difficult for our employees and we are committed to supporting our personnel and their local communities during the transition."
Layoffs will come gradually throughout 2012. Nokia said it will provide financial support and assist with re-employment to those receiving pink slips. Those that remain dodged yet another bullet. Nokia previously axed 3,500 jobs and closed up a shop in Romania in September 2011, which was on top of 4,000 jobs cuts announced in April of last year. An analyst with FIM Securities in Helsinki told The New York Times that "this is probably the bulk of the cuts" at Nokia, though it's possible more could be coming depending on the level of Symbian phone sales as the handset maker transitions over to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.