Nokia has confirmed that it will officially close its last remaining production facility in Finland. The plant, in the southwestern town of Salo, produced the last Finnish-manufactured Nokia handset on 27 July, ahead of its scheduled September closure.
The company is shutting the factory as a part of a broader plan to cut 10,000 jobs and save 1.6 billion euros (£1.25 billion) before the end of 2013. Some 780 Salo residents will lose their jobs as a result of the closure, with 3,700 layoffs planned to go into effect in Finland before the end of the year.
In a last-ditch bid to save itself, the struggling company is shifting all of its manufacturing to various Asian factories, where most of its component vendors are based. The move will allow Nokia to reduce its costs and to, ideally, help it become more competitive in the region, one of the fastest-growing markets for mobile and wireless technology.
Earlier in July, the company announced plans to close two of its four China offices, saying that it would instead focus on regional offices in Beijing and Guangzhou. In spite of that decision, Nokia’s president of Asia-Pacific operations said in June that the company planned to ramp up its product development in Asia.
“Shifting device assembly to Asia is targeted at improving our time to market,” said Nokia’s vice president of markets Niklas Savander earlier this year.
“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,” he said.