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Acer denies 'false and libellous claims' of Oz factory closure

'Nothing could be further from the truth' says MD

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Acer has issued a letter (PDF) making it plain that a media report it will close its Australian PC factory and sack many workers is wrong.

“Nothing could be further from the truth and we have no plans to either stop or slow down our production capacity,” wrote Charles Chung, managing director of Acer's Oceanic Region.

A report alleging the vendor intends to walk away from Australia emerged two days ago on an Australian channel news website.

Not long before Chung's letter came to light, an Acer spokesperson, Lisa Chang, told The Reg “The report is not accurate. Acer has no plan to close down the Australia assembly plant.”

Chung goes rather further, describing the allegations as “false and libellous” and rebutting almost every aspect of the story, which suggests Acer's Australian outpost is riven by internal politics and that the company will move to a retail sales model instead of its current focus on direct and channel sales to enterprise, government and education customers. On the charge of internal tension Chung labels the report “outrageously false”. Chung admits the company is letting some workers go, but that this is the kind of thing a large company does from time to time as it reviews operations rather than an epochal strategic shift.

If Acer really did shutter its Australian PC plant it would be big news. In the late 1990s, several big PC makers built PCs in Australia and their willingness to do so was taken as a sign of the nation's manufacturing prowess and general all-round digital cleverness of which to be proud. Today, Acer asserts it is “the last multinational PC vendor to have a wholly owned assembly plant in Australia.” Were it to depart, it would represent another unwelcome piece of news for Australia's manufacturing industry, which has just seen Ford announce its departure.

Acer leaving would also be a dent to the ego of Australia's technology sector, even if it has moved on and now spends more time being excited about large multinationals opening data centres here.

Chung's letter, which is addressed to “Valued Channel Partners,” concludes with the following barb:

“I look forward to continuing this relationship with you in the future as we take Acer Australia to the next level regardless of the distractions you and I face daily in our roles.”

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