Last month we were sad to report that Nokia had decided to cut 3,500 jobs and close their factory in Romania because the company felt it was simply more economical to invest in Asian plants. According to a report from the Romanian publication Business Review, ZTE is extremely interested in taking possession of Nokia’s factory and using it to build smartphones for the Romanian market and emerging countries. Lorian Ovidiu Vintila, Strategy Manager of ZTE Romania, said in a statement:
“We are not developing a production line with a capacity of millions of terminals like Nokia did. We are more restrained because we are entering the smartphone area, terminals that do not sell like 2G and 3G entry-level phones so that you can target the mass-market. We estimate that in 2012 we will produce in the new plant in Romania somewhere between 350,000 – 500,000 terminals for the Romanian market and emerging countries. We will focus on two models of smartphone Skate 4.3 and Blade 2.”
In addition to mobile devices, ZTE would also like to use this factory to build TV equipment, which we had no idea ZTE even made. Anyway, ZTE isn’t the only company who wants to move into Nokia’s old factory. Indian drug manufacturer Ranbaxy Labs wants the factory so it can establish an EU hub for their generic drugs according to The Financial Express. Ranbaxy Labs already purchased a 96.7% stake in Terapia, Romania’s largest drug maker, back in 2006, so they also have incentive to take Nokia’s factory off their hands.
Assuming ZTE gets what they want, and they meet their goal of making 500,000 Android smartphones in calendar year 2012, that’s 41,667 units per month or 1,370 units per day. That doesn’t exactly seem like a lot, but we imagine ZTE saves some money by not having to ship those devices from China all the way to Eastern Europe.