Bye Bye Motorola Singapore

Motorola is closing its Singapore operation, barely 3 months after announcing its expansion plan in Penang, Malaysia. The Singapore plant mainly manufacturers the mobile phone devices.

Motorola’s plant in Singapore accommodates about 700 workers, and most of them will be laid off before the year ends. A statement by the company said that the company is moving its operation to “other Motorola facilities worldwide.” The move is also said to be part of Motorola’s plan to cut $500 million dollars off their worldwide expenditure.

According to the number of sources, more job cuts are expected to come which will see more than 10,000 employees worldwide losing their jobs since the beginning of the year. While the manufacturing of the mobile services will go, it is said that the company will maintain their Singapore HQ, including the research and development center.

Ironically, in a stunning move, Motorola announced back in February 2008 its plan to expand their Malaysia operation, particularly in Bayan Lepan, Penang – a move that raised eyebrows of a number of groups. In the announcement, RM350 million will be invested and 700 jobs will be created, a sum equals to the number of job loss expected in Singapore.

Trouble brewing?

The latest development is set to send shivers to over 4000 employees in Motorola Malaysia, in addition to tens of thousands indirect employees working with the outsourced vendors, relying on businesses from Motorola. The news and media are depicting Motorola’s predicament as ‘free falling’, and is soon to lose their status as the 3rd biggest mobile phone maker in the world. The company has also confirmed its move to split its troubled mobile division as a separate entity.

Motorola Malaysia was one of the survivors that stood firm on its ground during the Asian economic downturn in the late 90s, and now is set to face another round of test.

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