Updated: August 19, 2015 2:04:11 am
Lenovo and Motorola have announced that they will start manufacturing smartphones in India at a 40,000 square feet factory in Sriperambudur, Chennai. The factory currently has a capacity of creating 6 million smartphone units. Lenovo has signed a manufacturing contract with electronics firm Flextronics to set up this facility.
The Moto E is the first smartphone that will be made in India. Lenovo said that the company will have separate manufacturing lines for Motorola and Lenovo in the same factory, which currently houses 1500 employees.
According to Lenovo, unlike other companies which have announced plans for manufacturing in India, their first batch of made in India Moto E smartphones have already reached its sales partners.
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Moto E is not the only smartphone that will be manufactured in this Chennai plant. Lenovo plans to start production of its K3 Note phablet in the factory as well.
Incidentally this is not the first time that Lenovo has undertaken manufacturing in India. Lenovo’s Pondicherry plant manufactures ThinkPads, personal computers.
“Outside China, this is the only facility where both Lenovo and Motorola smartphones are being manufactured, ” said Amar Babu, COO, Asia Pacific and Chairman Lenovo India. The idea is to integrate the supply chains of Lenovo and Motorola for manufacturing, even though the two will remain distinctly different brands, he added. Lenovo had acquired Motorola in January 2014.
“India is already the third largest smartphone market in the world and will soon be the largest smartphone market, even surpassing the US. Lenovo’s investment in the new manufacturing plant represents the potential we see in the Indian market,” said Lenovo’s president for Mobile Business Group Chen Xudong at the announcement.
Lenovo is not the first smartphone maker to announce a #MadeinIndia device. Last week Xiaomi had announced the Redmi 2 Prime, a smartphone assembled in India at its new factory in Vishakapatam. Xiaomi is still sourcing its materials for Redmi 2 Prime from China. Additionally Xolo’s Black brand of smartphones, Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma’s Yu Televentures have also announced similar plans.
With regard to Lenovo’s own factory, Sudhin Mathur, Director for India Smartphones, said that he would not call the Chennai plant as only an assembly unit but rather somewhere in the middle.
On sourcing locally, Motorola’s Amar Babu said that the company hopes to source about 30 per cent of the components locally in the coming years. “We will work with the government to ensure that local component availability improves. It’s not just one component that we have to look but at whole bunch of other smaller things like the plastics, screen, etc, which are all linked,” he added.
“It will take some time to set up the ecosystem in India, at least like the one we have in China. We will have that on our roadmap. We hope to ramp up the capacity of the Chennai plant to 12-14 million smartphone units in the next financial year,” added Dillon Ye, Vice-President-Smartphone Business Lead of Asia Pacific at Lenovo.
Lenovo said that they’ve grown 330 per cent in India from last year based on IDC numbers and that they were bullish on the market and plan to make further investments in India.
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