Report suggests Nikon will stop making cameras in Japan
A new report has all but confirmed Nikon will cease production of cameras in Japan, ending over half a century of camera production in the country.
According to Japanese newspaper Asahi and online news website AERAdot, Nikon's decision to move manufacturing from its "mothership" camera factory in Sendai in the Miyagi Prefecture of northern Japan to its Thailand factory will be finalised in 2021.
According to AERAdot, the last Japan-made Z 7 and Z 6 were completed at the end of September, with preparations for the transfer to Thailand beginning in October this year. It is expected the production of the D6 will also be transferred to Thailand by the end of 2021, officially ending the 'Made in Japan' era of Nikon cameras.
At nearly 27,000 square meters, Nikon's Sendai factory has been running near-continuously since it first opened in 1971. By comparison, the company’s Thailand factory was established in 1990, and has slowly become Nikon’s main factory for producing cameras and lenses.
The decision comes after reports in November that Nikon would cut 20% of its staff outside of Japan, on the back of operating losses of $183.3 million ($241 million AUD) in Q2 2020.
In a statement to Asahi, Nikon's General Manager of Video Division, Hirotaka Ikegami, said the factory will continue to be used as "a start-up factory for new business endeavors, with an emphasis on production technology and mobility."