Motorola becomes the latest manufacturing giant to move operations to India
Motorola Mobility, maker of Moto E and Moto G smartphones, is evaluating local production in India as part of its long-term plans to make the country one of its largest market globally.
"We expect to soon take a call on the possibilities of India manufacturing, considering we are significantly growing sales in India and the smartphone market here holds enormous potential," said Marcus Frost, Motorola's global senior marketing director for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
The firm would look at both company-owned and third-party manufacturing and is closely studying the Make in India policy of the Narendra Modi government.
With this Motorola joins a growing list of global smartphone makers, including Sony, Xiaomi and Gionee, considering local manufacturing in India, drawn by the 'Make in India' incentives. These firms are expected to firm up their plans this calendar year.
Motorola had a plant in Chennai, which it had shut down in 2013 as part of a global cost-reduction programme by its then parent Google.
The assets are still lying idle and, according to two senior industry officials, it could be revived as the first step for local manufacturing.
Frost, however, refused to comment on such a possibility.
Subsequent to Lenovo's acquisition of the Motorola business last year, the company has revived its plans to return to India in full force. "Lenovo is our parent, but Motorola is working independently making its own decisions. All business decisions, including possibilities of manufacturing in India, are made independently by our global team," Frost said, adding there are no plans to integrate sales and marketing operations with the parent firm in India.
At present, Motorola manufactures its smartphones in China and in Latin America such as Brazil. It, however, has a global software R&D facility in Bengaluru.
India and China are the only markets where both Lenovo and Motorola brands are sold together, while globally the two brands are segregated marketwise.
Motorola, which currently sells its smartphones only through Flipkart in India, sold some three million units here between February to December last year, with Moto G and Moto E models accounting for a bulk of it. Motorola currently has more than 3% share of the Indian smartphone market, dominated by Samsung and Micromax.
Frost said Motorola will continue its exclusive sales association with Flipkart, even though it is aware that the country has a sizeable brick-and-mortar sales network and other e-commerce firms are increasing business.
Some of its rivals, led by Xiaomi, have used 'flash sales' model on e-commerce portals to great effect to push sales in India, but Frost said Motorola will not try that strategy. "We will never go for the flash sales model on e-commerce, since we want our products to be always available for the consumers whenever they want it," he said.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.