Motorola’s factory in Fort Worth, Texas, where customized Moto X units are assembled, will be shut down by the end of the year, the Lenovo-owned company told The Wall Street Journal on Friday. The news marks the end of a brief chapter in the phone-maker’s history and could potentially leave the facility’s hundreds of workers jobless.
It’s no huge surprise, however, considering that the Moto X failed to really take off in the U.S. market. It makes financial sense for Lenovo to shutter the factory and move assembly to China, though it means an end to Motorola’s “assembled in the U.S.” tagline. The Chinese company previously said it bought Motorola to help break into the U.S. market, and shutting the factory down certainly won’t help with its brand image in America.
It’s easy to see the news as a retreat from the U.S. market, and according to Motorola President Rick Osterloh the company may be shifting away from American customers in general. “What we found was that the North American market was exceptionally tough,” he said to WSJ.
The decision will also likely mean slower delivery times for the Moto X here in the U.S., especially for anyone ordering a customized device through Moto Maker. We’re also curious to see what this could mean for the rumored Moto X+1, which Motorola is expected to announce sometime this summer.
Update: Motorola has confirmed that Moto Maker won’t be dying off despite the factory’s closure. It’s unclear how the service will be handled in the future, but at least we know it’ll be an option throughout the year—and maybe even when the Moto X+1 launches later this year.