Lenovo taps Flextronics to make smartphones in Chennai

Lenovo has tapped Flextronics to manufacture smartphones in Chennai.

Chinese handset maker Lenovo, which acquired US mobile phone brand Motorola from Google last year, on Tuesday announced its plans to contract manufacture smartphones in partnership with its global partner Flextronics from its Chennai facility.

“The Chennai unit belongs to our global partners Flextronics and we have started producing our new smartphones from the unit which will be used to match the demand from within the country,” Amar Babu, chief operating officer of Lenovo India, said.

The company already operates a manufacturing unit out of Puducherry, where it makes all its laptops.

The new facility spread over 40,000 square feet, which will come with product testing labs and quality assurance facilities, will house 1,500 employees with separate manufacturing lines for Lenovo and Motorola.

“The company will make Moto E and the Lenovo K3 Note out of the new facility,” Chen Xudong, chairman of Motorola Mobility, said.

The facility, which started its assembly lines merely two weeks back, currently has an annual production capacity of six million units. “We have set our targets to six million this year and we will look at taking the production capacity to 12 to 14 million in the next year,” Dillion Ye, executive director of Lenovo smartphones, said.

Additional secretary of ministry of information Ajay Kumar, who was also present during the announcement, said: “Several companies are coming back for manufacturing in India. We are the fastest growing manufacturing destination for smartphones in the world now and we support all companies coming to India..”

“We want Lenovo to scale up manufacturing and to export. We want Lenovo to make a device which is more value-oriented for the end-consumer and more useful,” Kumar said.

Lenovo currently has no plans to export their smartphones from India although the Chennai facility is its second plant in the world after China where Motorola and Lenovo smartphones will be produced side by side. “We want to scale up for now to match the demand from within the country and then think about exporting products from here,” Ye said.

The Chinese handset maker also said that it was looking to bring key components to the country and said that it was in talks with the government to bring at least 30 percent of the component ecosystem to India. “It is just a matter of months before we are able to bring 30 percent of the key components needed for manufacturing locally in India,” Babu added.

According to a latest report in International Data Corporation (IDC), Lenovo sold over 1 million 4G handsets in the country and has over 30 percent share in the country among such handsets. It is also the only Chinese brand among top five vendors in the country.

Lenovo and Motorola jointly has 6.4 percent of the market share of smartphones in the country as per IDC data.