So much for Motorola's 'Made in the USA' marketing

Mark Bergen
ADVERTISING AGE

Published: May 31, 2014 6:00 am ET
Updated: June 1, 2014 1:04 am ET

Image By: IHS Moto X

Related to this story

Topics Reshoring, Telecommunications

Last July, when Motorola Mobility launched its newest phone, the Moto X, it went full-on patriotic. Then Google-owned, the company ran a sweeping print campaign on the July 4th weekend, emblazoned with the copy for the "first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the USA."

Well, scratch that.

A year after opening its handset facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Motorola has announced it will shut the factory by the end of the year. The company cited fledgling sales numbers and rising costs of U.S. production.

"What we found was that the North American market was exceptionally tough," Motorola President Rick Osterloh told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. A spokeswoman for Motorola confirmed the decision.

For the Moto X, Motorola run full-page ads with The New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. The handset maker worked with the creative agency shopDroga5 and Publicis Groupe's Digitas.

With the campaign, Motorola, whose smartphone market share was slipping, shot for a rebrand. It positioned the ads around customer freedom — hawking the phone as the first "you can design yourself." At the time, a Motorola marketing executive described the strategy as having a "Googley attitude" and noted that the company hoped to do for phones what Google had done with search.

In January, Google sold the Motorola handset business to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.

Motorola said the acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of the year, did not affect the decision to shut the U.S. factory.

Since launching the Moto X, which initially sold for $600 without contract, Motorola has shifted to thrift. The company rolled out two new phones aimed at developing markets and first-time smartphone buyers. The Moto G, released in November, sells for $219 without a contract. And the Moto E, introduced in May, came at a bargain price-tag of $129.

It remains unclear if the prices will be intact once Lenovo takes over. Neither company has commented on how the Motorola business will continue after the meger.

Ads for Motorola's new phones made no mention of where they were made.

This report originally appeared on Plastics News' sister website, Advertising Age.


Comments

So much for Motorola's 'Made in the USA' marketing

Mark Bergen
ADVERTISING AGE

Published: May 31, 2014 6:00 am ET
Updated: June 1, 2014 1:04 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

iPhone 6 supplier Jabil accused of labor violations

September 29, 2014 6:00 pm ET

The same Jabil Circuit Inc. facility in Wuxi, China that faced labor violation accusations last September just before the iPhone 5S and 5C release is ...    More

Image

Chinese mold makers say they don't worry about reshoring trends

September 23, 2014 12:05 pm ET

Reshoring may be a hot topic in U.S. manufacturing circles, but the mid-level and small players putting in appearances at this year's AsiaMold in...    More

Image

Toy maker, supplier in settlement talks

September 23, 2014 2:31 pm ET

Taiwan-based toy manufacturer Sales Chief Enterprise Co. Ltd. and U.S.-based toy vendor Redman & Associates LLC are attempting to resolve a contract...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events