Nokia shuts Romanian factory, sacks 2200 workers

Phone maker Nokia said it is to close its factory in Jucu, Romania, with the loss of some 2,200 jobs.

When the firm said it is extending plans "to align its workforce and operations," it means that, where it was once the most popular - and most profitable - mobile phone maker, it has since been trounced by a combination of Apple and Android, having failed to make its phones 'smart' enough.

The Finnish firm has thrown in its lot with Microsoft in the not unreasonable hope that the Windows maker has a big enough war chest to establish its Mobile OS in some corner of the market. But Nokia realised that, in the short term at least, it still needs to hack and slash in order to keep investors on board.

Nokia said it wants to focus its 'feature phone' manufacturing "on those locations with optimal proximity to suppliers and key markets.

As a result, it said, it "plans to close its manufacturing facility in Cluj, Romania by the end of 2011, as Nokia's high-volume Asian factories provide greater scale and proximity benefits."

The closure of a European 'feature phone' factory is telling. But it has other factories churning out smartphones and even these aren't safe from 'review'.

In its statement Nokia said the "long-term role of its manufacturing operations in Salo, Finland, Komarom, Hungary, and Reynosa, Mexico" is under review. The outfit said the factories are expected to continue to delliver smartphones to European and North American customers, but next year jobs are likely to be lost in these locations too

"We are seeing solid progress against our strategy, and with these planned changes we will emerge as a more dynamic, nimble and efficient challenger," spun president and CEO, Stephen Elop, in a statement. "We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward."

"Europe is core to Nokia's future," he said.