Texas Instruments (TI), the Nasdaq-listed electronic parts manufacturer has announced it is closing its factory in Greenock, Scotland, which could result in the loss of around 400 jobs.
TI said it would be closing the factory in the Inverclyde area over the next three years, and moving its operations to "more cost-effective" 200-millimetre factories in Germany, Japan and Maine, in order to save money.
Some 365 people are likely to be affected, in manufacturing, engineering, management and support.
The company said it does not expect any job losses to occur before 2017, and it would take three years to fully transfer operations abroad.
In a statement, seen by City A.M. the company said:
TI continuously reviews our facilities using a range of factors that includes the cost effectiveness and capacity of each site. As our products become more advanced, the capacity and cost effectiveness of our facilities have to be considered.
This is a decision taken with our global operations in mind and is not a reflection of the performance, quality or commitment of our Greenock employees [who] have done everything they can to keep the site cost-competitive, and we strongly considered ways to improve the site's efficiency, such as upgrading or expanding the facility. However, even with a considerable investment, TI's factory in Greenock would be far less efficient than out other larger, more efficient labs, which have open capacity available to absorb what's produced in Greenock.
TI said it was hoping to sell the factory as an on-going, working manufacturing operation – with its specialised buildings, equipment and workers – and has contracted Atreg, a company specialising in selling manufacturing properties to help with the process.
It added: "We are just at the proposal stage, and ending manufacturing operations is a lengthy process."
The company makes semiconductors, which conduct electricity in chips in electronic hardware and circuit boards.
TI Scotland site manager Gerry McCarthy added:
Decisions like this are never easy, and we don't make them lightly. While the rationale for moving production out of our Greenock lab makes good business sense, we understand the impact it could have on our employees and the community.
This is certainly not a reflection of the performance or commitment of our people but due to the efficiency of the site itself.
We recognise this is difficult news, and our focus right now is on our employees and to ensure they have all of the information they need as we move forward.
Inverclyde council leader, councillor Stephen McCabe, announced he was launching a task force to address the potential closure, with local and national politicians and agencies. He said:
This is a stunning blow to the Scottish economy. In Inverclyde our business sector is resilient and our skills base strong, which is the reason companies like Texas Instruments, have made this their home for over 40 years.
It is time to once again stand shoulder to shoulder and secure a future for this skilled workforce. We must also work together to ensure that national resource makes its way to Greenock to achieve that endeavour. I will also be seeking an urgent meeting with top level management at Texas Instruments.