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

November 7, 2018

Fujitsu, which is undergoing massive restructuring amid plummeting sales figures in its core hardware offerings, will continue all of its sales operations in Europe despite the closure of its manufacturing and research and development plant in the Bavarian city of Augsburg, Germany.

Last week, Fujitsu announced it was shuttering the facility, effecting around 1,800 people, by September 2020 to centralise all of its manufacturing, sourcing and research and development in Japan, where it is headquartered. The company said it is working with the trade unions to come up with 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 new 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, ending September 30, 2018, have declined over 4 per cent to 1834.5bn billion Japanese yen ($16.19bn). The second quarter for the period ending September 30, Fujitsu said revenue had declined 22 per cent at Ubiquitous Solutions, the PC and smartphone unit, to $1.1 billion.

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 off a 51 per cent stake on PC business to China-based Lenovo for nearly $269 million.