Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Moto X: The Smartphone Comes Home

There are 150 million smartphones in the USA. Until Moto X, not one of them was made here.

When we set out to make Moto X, we asked ourselves, why?

Conventional wisdom said it wasn’t possible. Experts said that costs are too high in the US; that the US has lost its manufacturing capability; and that the US labor force is too inflexible. And it’s true that most manufacturing in the consumer electronics industry moved offshore over a decade ago.

One year ago, we chose to believe differently. We chose to be optimistic about the future of manufacturing in America. Not because making our flagship product here in the US is the easy thing to do, but because it’s the right thing to do.

People called us crazy. But we quickly realized that it's not economics that prevents consumer electronics companies from making things locally. It's lack of imagination and vision.

First, the economics have changed. It’s not that much more expensive to make a phone here than in Asia.

Second, innovation is an iterative process of redesigning and refining. That process becomes much easier when the people designing the products are near to the people building them.

Third, consumers have changed. Some want to participate in the design of their device so they can reflect their personal style, and that’s much harder if your manufacturing is overseas. Others want a locally built product and want to know they are supporting local jobs.

But there is a larger reason that ultimately motivated us to assemble Moto X here in the US.

Producing Moto X locally helps bring innovation back home, which is essential to the economic health of the US. It provides jobs and helps maintain technical skills that would otherwise be lost. It’s also true to our nature. We’re makers, and we should continue to be makers.

So, today we’re celebrating the official launch of the manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, that builds every Moto X sold in the US. Some said it couldn’t be done, but the factory we just opened and the people working there are proof that it could. We’ve created more than 2,000 jobs in Fort Worth in less than four months, and we’re still hiring.

I couldn’t be more proud of the work our team has done.

We think people will be proud to carry a phone that’s built in the US. And now they have that choice.

--Dennis Woodside, CEO, Motorola

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