If you have driven past the Lebuhraya-Damansara Puchong Highway (LDP), you would’ve come across the Western Digital factory, which is a famous landmark in the area. Rings a bell?
However, it looks like the factory will not remain as a landmark around the Petaling Jaya area in Kelana Jaya because a Western Digital spokesperson recently announced that it will cease operations by the end of next year (2019), reported The Register.
They have decided to shut down the factory because the demand for hard drives has decreased. Therefore, they will now shift their interest into making solid-state storage drives (SSDs) instead. In other words, they are looking to manufacture flash drives by joining hands with Toshiba.
The spokesman was quoted as saying,
“The data technology industry is undergoing substantial change. This market transformation is driving increased adoption of SSDs and NAND flash in traditional HDDs (hard drives) applications. The change has contributed to growth in SSD/NAND flash and declining long-term demand for client HDDs.”
Even though they’re closing down their factory, Western Digital will still operate in Malaysia as they plan to retain their Centre of Excellence within Selangor. Ah, they’re not completely leaving after all!
The Centre of Excellence will house several key engineering teams, core operational planning and regional support functions. Besides that, they also assured that employees impacted by the shift will definitely be compensated accordingly.
On a different note, the spokesperson revealed that Western Digital is also planning to expand the manufacturing of SSD (aka flash drives) in Penang.
“The company is in the final stages of commissioning its second SSD facility in Penang, which will go into production in the coming months,” he said.
Prior to this, the American company’s subsidiary, HGST Technologies Malaysia Sdn Bhd, in Penang was shut down in 2016. Currently, they only have two more hard drive manufacturing sites left in Malaysia (Johor and Kuching) and an SSD plant in Penang.
Well, it looks like we have to say goodbye to this famous landmark and look for a new one to reference in that area. That said, we wish Western Digital all the best in their new venture and may they succeed in it.
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