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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Fujitsu to close plant in Germany to bring all manufacturing back to Japan

The Augsburg facility is the last of the 83 year-old company's manufacturing plants in Europe

Fujitsu is undergoing massive restructuring with a focus on AI. REUTERS
Fujitsu is undergoing massive restructuring with a focus on AI. REUTERS

Fujitsu, which is undergoing a massive restructure, will continue its sales operations in Europe despite the closure of its manufacturing and research and development plant in the city of Augsburg, Germany.

Last week, Fujitsu announced it was shutting the facility, effecting around 1,800 jobs. By September 2020, the company wants to centralise all of its manufacturing, sourcing and research and development in Japan, where it is headquartered. It is working with trade unions to structure a plan for effected workers. Fujitsu’s Augsburg facility is the last of the 83 year-old company's hardware manufacturing plants in Europe.

However, Rupert Lehner, head of Central Europe at Fujitsu, indicated hiring in Germany. “Based on our strong presence in Germany – including the operation of highly-secure data centres and leveraging long-standing partnerships with leading technology vendors such as Microsoft and SAP, Fujitsu also plans to invest in new jobs in growth areas in Germany,” he said.

The company, the maker of Japan's first computer, is focusing on emerging technologies - cloud, blockchain and connected services after facing steep declines in smartphone and PC sales. Its revenues for first half have declined over 4 per cent to ¥1834.5 billion (Dh22.04bn). In the second quarter for the period ending September 30, Fujitsu said revenue had declined 22 per cent to $1.1bn at Ubiquitous Solutions, the PC and smartphone unit.

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Fujitsu has nearly 5,000 employees across Germany and 300 more in Austria and Switzerland.

The announcement of the closure of Augsburg facility came nearly a year after Fujitsu sold its 51 per cent stake in PC business to Chinese Lenovo for about $269 million.