The Texas town where smartphones are made (pictures)
Crave's Eric Mack recently toured the Texas factory where the Moto X is being assembled, and he also poked around the neighborhood to see if Motorola could be starting a new trend in American manufacturing.
Easy in, easy out
Crave visited Alliance, Texas, this week to attend an official opening ceremony for the new Moto X factory there and tour the premises. Above, the Texas state flag flaps in the wind in front of the control tower for the Alliance Airport. The corporate and cargo air complex is a five-minute drive from the Moto X factory, with no TSA lines in sight. Alliance is a 17,000-acre planned community and foreign trade zone owned by Ross Perot Jr.'s real estate development company. It lies within Fort Worth and three other nearby Texas towns.
The entire world is just down the road from the Flextronics factory via Alliance's AirTrade Center. The factory employs more than 2,000 American workers to assemble the Moto X smartphone. Retrofitting the plant cost $25 million; the facility was used by Nokia to assemble cell phones in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Corporate honchos and government officials can easily jet in and out of Alliance via its streamlined corporate terminal for craft ranging from helicopters to private jets. It also seems to be one of the best spots around for spotting 10-gallon hats.
Alliance's corporate air terminal is a key starting point for business here. Mercedes Benz, Amazon, and Lockheed Martin are among the many and varied big names that house part of their operations in Alliance's industrial, warehousing, and office spaces.
Bison roam right next door to this Cabela's in Alliance, Texas, teasing hunters shopping inside for their next outing. The retail chain carries equipment and clothing for hunting, camping, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits.
Rent at this Alliance-owned development starts at a reasonable $875 a month and puts you about 15 minutes away from either the Flextronics Moto X factory or downtown Fort Worth. It's the kind of place that should be within the budget of some of the more senior factory floor workers -- nice digs, especially compared with the dingy workers' dorms at China's Foxconn City.
A herd of bison graze in a field on the side of Alliance Gateway Freeway, one of the main highways through Alliance, and just down the road from the Moto X factory. The bison in this shot are seen through a fisheye lens to make sure they look sufficiently intimidating to any hunters shopping at Cabela's next door (and viewing this gallery on their custom-camoflauge Moto X smartphones) who might be tempted by an easy hunt.