New Plant Has no Impact on Finnish Production

Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia is planning to invest EUR 200 million in the construction of a new factory in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.
     
The company’s Senior Vice President Juha Putkiranta says that the factory will have between 5,000 and 10,000 employees when its operations are in full swing. The first mobile phone handsets will be manufactured there at the beginning of next year.

He emphasises that the establishment of a production facility in Vietnam will have no impact on the company’s plant in Salo in the southwest of Finland, or on other Nokia factories.
     
The production of Nokia’s factories has been planned in such a way that all of the plants can, at least in principle, manufacture any of its phone models.
      
The plant is to be built to meet growing demand for handsets in the low to medium price range. Vietnam alone has nearly 100 million inhabitants.
     
A large part of the production involves telephones in which Nokia uses the s40 operating system that it has developed.
     
“Our goal is to link the next billion people to the internet with mobile telephones. The setting up of the new factory is connected with this. After the international economic crisis, demand for cheap and mid-range phones has started to grow powerfully”, Putkiranta says.
     
There are 6.9 billion people in the world, and more than 80 per cent of them live in areas covered by mobile telephone networks.
     
Nokia says that about 3.2 billion people do not have a mobile telephone of their own.
     
Various studies have indicated that many of those who do not yet use the internet will start using it first on a mobile telephone.
     
Only about half of the world’s 3.7 billion mobile phone users are using their phones to access the internet.
     
Nokia decided on the construction of a new plant last November, after which the company examined various options for building a factory.
     
“The location of Vietnam is good from the point of view of the markets. The infrastructure is excellent, and there is well-trained labour here”, said Putkiranta in a telephone interview from Hanoi.
     
He emphasises that the establishment of a production facility in Vietnam will have no impact on the company’s plant in Salo in the southwest of Finland, or on other Nokia factories.
     
The production of Nokia’s factories has been planned in such a way that all of the plants can, at least in principle, manufacture any of its phone models.
     
The Salo factory mainly produces smartphones for the European market. The phones are assembled and programmed at the Salo plant.
     
Anne Malm, the head shop steward at the Salo plant, said that news of plans for a new factory in Vietnam did not spark any strong reactions among staff.
     
“CEO Stephen Elop was at the factory today [Wednesday] and he made it quite clear that the new factory will have no impact on Salo”, Malm says.



 

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