Talk about bad blood. Nokia’s decision to close down their German factory in Bochum has unleashed all manner of German-angst (not the kind of angst you want to mess with) on the Finnish handset manufacturer. The issue at hand is two-fold.
The German plant closure left 2,300 Germans without employment and left the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia feeling ripped off for €41.3 million (around $60.5 million). You see, North-Rhine Westphalia ponied up the $60.5 million in 1999 and 1998 to subsidize Nokia’s Bochum factory. But, now that Nokia has up and left Bochum plant and its workers in the cold, ze Germans want their $60.5 million. And we doubt they’re playing around.
Nokia responded in typical PR-speak, stating that, “Nokia is astonished by this. Based on the facts available to the company and Deutsche Bank, its advisor throughout the entire period, both parties feel strongly that such an attempt is without merit.” In other words, Nokia would like to thank Germany for the factory subsidy. And now that they’re done using them, Nokia’s off on its merry way for greener (Romanian) pastures.
To Nokia’s credit, they did meet the full subsidy requirements through job opportunities and investing in the Bochum plant. But, we’re sure the Germans don’t feel any better about this whole ordeal.
Nokia’s full response.