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Thursday, 20 April, 2000, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Motorola confirms factory deal
Dunfermline site
The 150-acre site has never come into operation
The electronics giant Motorola has announced plans to locate its biggest European semiconductor plant in Scotland, employing 1,350 people.

The company is buying the mothballed Hyundai factory near Dunfermline and investing 1.3bn in the 150-acre site.

The move is Motorola's largest inward investment in Europe, and, it says, will "herald the next phase of growth for its semiconductor manufacturing operations".

Details of the plans have been given at a news conference in Edinburgh involving senior Motorola executives; Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, who is also the local MP, and Scotland's First Minister, Donald Dewar.

Mr Dewar said: "This announcement will create 700 new jobs and safeguard a further 650 jobs currently at South Queensferry.

Motorola browser
Motorola is Scotland's biggest manufacturing employer
"This gives a clear message to the United States and to the whole of Europe that Scotland remains an extremely attractive location for high-tech investment of this kind."

Motorola is already the largest manufacturing employer in Scotland, with a total workforce of 6,500 at its three plants in East Kilbride, South Queensferry and Easter Inch.

Despite the upbeat tone from the company, a shadow has been cast over the East Kilbride plant, with speculation that production will eventually be transferred to Fife.

The Dunfermline factory was built four years ago as a manufacturing base for the South Korean firm Hyundai.

The project collapsed after the downturn in the economies of the Far East and since then, the site has lain idle.

Substantial sums of public money were used to attract Hyundai to Scotland, in the biggest inward investment in the UK at that time.

Motorola 'world leader'

The factory will produce Motorola's DigitalDNA solutions, based on eight-inch wafers and using deep sub-micron technology, for the rapidly growing mobile communications business.

After the factory is fully equipped, Motorola's total investment is expected to be about 1.3bn ($2bn).

Bill Walker, senior vice president and director in Motorola's semiconductor products sector, said: "We're delighted that our long relationship with employees, customers and government in the United Kingdom has enabled us to take this step.

Motorola chipset
The plant will make semiconductors
"Our history of semiconductor manufacturing in Scotland will enable us to establish Dunfermline as a world leader in productivity and cost effectiveness, which are vital to Motorola's competitiveness."

David Brown, chairman of Motorola Ltd., added: "This announcement underscores Motorola's commitment to the United Kingdom, and adds to our 33-year record of inward investment here.

"As one of the UK's leading employers and a top 10 exporter, we are confident that the products we will make in Dunfermline will strengthen yet further our position at the heart of the UK's electronics sector."

Last year, Motorola's total sales amounted to $33.1bn. Worldwide semiconductor sales were $7.4bn.

Motorola established its first manufacturing operations at East Kilbride in 1969 and since then, it has invested more than 1bn into the Scottish economy.

It has been in the UK since 1967 and employs about 10,000 people in manufacturing, research and development and marketing

Motorola Ltd had sales of 3.7bn in 1999, including 3.0bn in exports

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See also:

20 Apr 00 | Scotland
Reaction to Motorola deal
23 Apr 99 | The Company File
Hyundai buys LG chips
15 Jul 99 | The Company File
New hope for Hyundai plant
02 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
Hyundai development plan for North Korea
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