Nokia to axe 4,000 jobs at smartphone plants

 In a major headcount reduction exercise, Nokia today announced 4,000 job cuts in Europe and Mexico, as the Finland-based global mobile phone would be moving its device assembly units to Asia.

The job cuts in Finland, Hungary and Mexico are said to be driven by the world's largest mobile phone maker's plans to move its device assembly units closer to the component suppliers in Asia.

In a statement issued from Helsinki, Nokia said that the job cuts would be at its factories in Komarom (Hungary), Reynosa (Mexico) and Salo (Finland).

"The changes are anticipated to impact approximately 4,000 employees in total...Personnel reductions are planned to be phased through the end of 2012," the company said.

The measures follow a review of smartphone manufacturing operations that the company announced last September and are aimed at increasing Nokia's competitiveness in the diverse global mobile device market.

The three factories affected by the job cuts are planned to focus on smartphone product customisation, serving customers mainly in Europe and the Americas.

The company said that device assembly is expected to be transferred to Nokia factories in Asia, where the majority of component suppliers are based.

The company did not disclose the specific identity of the Asian locations where these factories are based.

"Shifting device assembly to Asia is targeted at improving our time to market. 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," Nokia Executive Vice President (Markets) Niklas Savander said.

In September last year, Nokia announced it would cut another 3,500 jobs worldwide as part of drastic restructuring efforts that includes shuttering manufacturing facility in Romania.

Battling tough business conditions, Nokia's latest move would be in addition to restructuring plans unveiled in April, that would affect as many as 7,000 jobs globally.

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