Motorola doesn't rule out facility in NZ

Motorola won't be building its next Asia-Pacific research and development facility in New Zealand, but it might just build the following one here.

Motorola won’t be building its next Asia-Pacific research and development facility in New Zealand, but it might just build the following one here.

The R&D facility is to be built in Australia, possibly Adelaide. Motorola builds a new facility roughly every six months or so since 1996, and has a policy of building them outside the US.

Spokesman Russell Grimmer will be travelling to Christchurch with the new regional vice president and a representative from company headquarters to discuss the needs of a possible new facility in that city.

“The timing and the compatibility of the particular work that is to be carried out happened to have some really good fits with one of the Australian sites, that’s all.

"Each centre tends to focus on a particular part of the business — Adelaide is doing a lot of automotive work, Sydney is employing a lot of Internet research and so on,” says Grimmer. He says negotiations with Trade NZ arm Investment New Zealand have lead to “other opportunities that are looming on the horizon”, though he wouldn’t say any more than that.

“That’s unusual for a US company, but we realised early on that a lot of the talent was going untapped in other countries.”

Motorola has centres in Poland, Russia, India, China, Korea and Australia among others.

“We’re definitely not knocking New Zealand off the list.”

Motorola uses a weighting formula to decide on where a new plant will be located — points are allocated to each site based on potential staffing levels, cooperation from local universities and quality of lifestyle. Motorola does factor in any “sweeteners” offered by governments, but because these are usually short-term start-up incentives, they aren’t rated as highly as the other factors.

“We plan to be in any particular location for at least 40 years so they’re not really that important.”

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