Nokia plans to close its manufacturing facility in Cluj, Romania, by the end of this year, said the Finnish giant, as Nokia’s high-volume Asian factories provide greater scale and proximity benefits. The company also plans to close its ‘Location & Commerce’ development efforts in in Bonn, Germany and Malvern, US.

Earlier this year, Nokia announced changes primarily focused on aligning its R&D operations in Smart Devices and Mobile Phones. The company was announcing the next phase of operational alignment, which includes plans for reductions in manufacturing, the Location & Commerce business, and supporting functions.

The closure of the Cluj factory, combined with adjustments to supply chain operations is estimated to impact approximately 2,200 employees. Changes in the Location & Commerce businesses are estimated to impact approximately 1,300 employees. These personnel reductions are in addition to the measures announced in April and are expected to take effect by the end of 2012

Nokia plans to concentrate its Location & Commerce development efforts in Berlin, Boston, Chicago and other supporting sites, the company said. Location & Commerce is responsible for driving the delivery of Nokia’s digital mapping content, location platform and social-location experiences.

The company is currently reviewing the long-term role of its manufacturing operations in Salo, Finland, Komarom, Hungary, and Reynosa, Mexico. These factories are expected to continue to play a key role in serving European and North American smartphone customers, the company said, but added that it gradually intends to shift their focus to customer and market-specific software and sales package customization. This move is estimated to further reduce headcounts next year.

E-say

Stephen Elop (Nokia President and CEO): We are seeing solid progress against our strategy, and with these planned changes we will emerge as a more dynamic, nimble and efficient challenger. We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward.

Europe is core to Nokia’s future. We have four major R&D sites in Finland and two major R&D sites in Germany, as well as Nokia Research Centers and other supporting R&D sites in Europe. Nokia also retains a strong local presence in our many sales offices throughout this region, as well as our operations in Salo and Komarom.