That was fast. About a year after Google
started manufacturing the Moto X
domestically at a plant in Texas
, the factory is shutting down; it will cease operations at some point later this year.
The Texas plant was an exciting experiment; never before had a smartphone been actually manufactured in the U.S., yet here we were, with an intriguing new handset being made by an American company and providing jobs for people in an economy desperate for them.
And then the Moto X (our review here
) didn’t sell as well as Google thought it would. And then Google sold off
its Motorola unit to Lenovo
--a Chinese company. And now all those jobs are disappearing; the Moto X will continue to be manufactured in Brazil and China, according to CNET
and the Wall Street Journal
"What we found was that the North American market was exceptionally tough," Motorola President Rick Osterloh told the WSJ. Labor costs, shipping expenses, and slower than expected sales did the plant in.
Motorola said that the sale to Lenovo had nothing to do with the closing of the plant, but it’s hard to imagine that it didn’t. In any case, it’s a shame that the Moto X plant experiment didn’t pan out. Hopefully someone else will try again.