Dell ceases all manufacturing in Europe

2 Dec 2009

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From Limerick to Lodz, Dell has effectively unloaded its manufacturing operations in Europe to the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, the Taiwanese firm Foxconn.

Dell is winding down its Limerick manufacturing plants, with the loss of 1,800 jobs and is shipping these functions to a new operation in Lodz, Poland.

Up for EU approval

However, in a deal subject to EU approval, it now turns out that Dell will transfer ownership of the Lodz facility to the world’s biggest consumer electronics manufacturer, Foxconn.

Dell said today that its remaining 2,000-strong Irish workforce, which it said are engaged in a range of strategic functions, will be unaffected by the transaction.

“There is no impact on Dell’s 2,000 Irish employees as a result of the announcement – Dell’s employees in Ireland continue to be engaged in a wide range of strategic functions for global and EMEA functions,” a spokesperson confirmed.

Foxconn, which last year reported revenues of US$78 billion, manufactures products for a large number of well-known consumer electronics brands, including the Apple iPod, Nintendo Wii, the Microsoft Xbox 360, various orders for HP and Dell, the Amazon Kindle e-reader and the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for Sony.

Strengthening move

Dell said the move will strengthen its long-term position in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Since the early 1990s, all of the manufacturing activity for the EMEA region was carried out in Ireland until earlier this year the country received the bad news that Dell was transferring this activity to Poland.

Following the transfer, Dell will continue to source desktop and notebook computers, servers and storage systems for EMEA customers from Lodz via Foxconn.

Current Dell employees in Lodz will continue in their roles when Foxconn assumes management of the operation, sustaining jobs in the region.

The agreement is subject to European Union regulatory approval and closing processes.

“Extending our relationship with Foxconn allows us to help customers grow and succeed by making the most of their IT investments, in a way they’ve come to expect from Dell,” said Sean Corkery, vice-president, Dell supply-chain operations.

“We’re pleased that Foxconn recognises the knowledge and skills of the Dell Lodz employees and will continue to rely on them to fulfil customer requirements and grow the operation,” Corkery said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Dell is winding down its Limerick manufacturing plants, with the loss of 1,800 jobs and is shipping these functions to a new operation in Lodz, Poland.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com