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Sony confirms resumption of SLT and NEX manufacture

By dpreview staff on Nov 15, 2011 at 23:08 GMT

Sony USA has confirmed reports that production of its SLT and NEX cameras has resumed, following the devastating flooding in Thailand, last month. Production has been moved from its affected Ayuthaya site to the Chonburi plant, further south in the country. A spokesman said there was no further information about the effect on product shipments, as this was still being determined. The company lowered its camera sales forecasts in its quarterly results published on November 2nd but said it had not yet factored-in the effects of the floods. However, its current assessment was that, taking into account the returns from its insurance policies, the cost of the flood damage would be around 25 billion yen ($324m).

Comments

Total comments: 45
Kenneth Margulies
By Kenneth Margulies (Nov 16, 2011)

Amazing! Cannot wait to see the NEX-7 review. Once it gets DPREVIEW's blessing (I hope), I will order on Amazon.
Bravo to Sony for the hard work to get production up and running.
How sweet it is!!!!

0 upvotes
TOOBAD2
By TOOBAD2 (Nov 16, 2011)

I JUST GOT MY A77 FROM AMAZON BY WAY OF ADORAMA 3 DAYS EARLY. ALL GOOD THINGS ARE WORTH WAITING FOR. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST CAMERAS I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE TO USE. I THOUGHT NOTHING COULD COME CLOSE TO MY NIKON F3 BUT THE A77 IN JUST THE FIRST FEW HOURS HAS. EVEN IN CALIF. I ENJOY SHOOTING IN IDAHO AND THE CANADIAN ROCKIES BETTER.

2 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 16, 2011)

Impressive! I would LOVE to eat my words about what I said regarding the NEX7 availability.

0 upvotes
topcon2
By topcon2 (Nov 17, 2011)

That's great news. Please tell us why?

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Nov 17, 2011)

Seems like you should have spent the money on a keyboard with a working caps lock key.

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 18, 2011)

Enjoy the honeymoon. Have you and NEXie already finished the warp-speed zips through California, Idaho and Alberta?

0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 16, 2011)

Heck, at this rate I may well just look for something else to buy for myself this year. Personally, I don't see the NEX7 to be available until after the first of the year.

I wonder if the new NEX Carl Zeiss fast 24mm lens will be in the same boat since its made under contract by Sony?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 16, 2011)

First of the year? Agreed. Jan. 1, 2013 may be a safe bet.

0 upvotes
HIScamera
By HIScamera (Nov 18, 2011)

Aren't you the guy who said you'd be embarrased about buying X100 because you used to own Leica? You're not embarrased about Sony, then?

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 16, 2011)

Are all SLT and NEX plants in Thailand? It seems Nikon and Canon like the country too. What's the median pay and benefits cost per employee? $400 / month? Hmmm. That might cover rice, bus fare, a shared room, and (if the person is extra frugal) enough to buy a NEX after perhaps ... 10 years. Unfortunately, I don't imagine the production ratio, unit costs, or profit margins would ever allign such that the people could buy what they make.

2 upvotes
Guido3
By Guido3 (Nov 16, 2011)

It's less. About $200-300/month. Official minimum wage ist $6.7. Of course per day and not per hour. And of course only in the capital province. It's less in other provinces, minimum $4.9/day.

0 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Nov 16, 2011)

As employee they would get discount, and cameras are a lot cheaper in southeast asia anyway. When A550 was $1000 in the US, you could get it for $500 to $600 in China.

0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 16, 2011)

This falls in perfect harmony with the incredibly long lead times between product announcements and deliveries. More times than not, their cameras are typically obsolete by the time they arrive on the US market.

0 upvotes
Paul_B Midlands UK
By Paul_B Midlands UK (Nov 16, 2011)

Come to Great Britain to do all manufacturing!!
Perish the thought ...

4 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 16, 2011)

Frankly, that's not a bad idea.

0 upvotes
Sevventh
By Sevventh (Nov 16, 2011)

Do you know why the Brits drink warm beer?

Because they have Lucas refrigeration!

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 16, 2011)

Will UK'ers flock to the want-ads that offer the Thai wage rate? Or will you pay the 5X extra it might cost to assemble in the UK?

2 upvotes
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Nov 16, 2011)

Good News, but what about Nikon and Canon.....Kindly post some update from them......

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Nov 16, 2011)

Nikon issued a "3rd Notice on the damage from the flood in Thailand" update on November 4. I e-mailed the link to dpreview (on November 5th?), but they apparently decided that it wasn't newsworthy.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
dopsgp
By dopsgp (Nov 16, 2011)

So much for trying to save money by moving production out of Japan!

1 upvote
Lng0004
By Lng0004 (Nov 16, 2011)

Yeah, move production so those damn Thailand workers can enjoy an even lengthier rest.

1 upvote
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Nov 16, 2011)

I hope Thailand recovers soon, its not just the camera production that has taken a big hit. Storage devices(HDDs) production has gone down.

0 upvotes
Carlos Echenique
By Carlos Echenique (Nov 16, 2011)

Hopefully, they will address some of the issues that plagued the prototype and review NEX-7 samples (poor wide angle performance, color shifts, poor high-ISO, etc) but I doubt it. They were probably moving as quickly as they could to recreate the assembly lines lost in the flood, not retooling/refining the product.

0 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Nov 16, 2011)

I am sure Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, and Nikon all cheering right now.

0 upvotes
JPG
By JPG (Nov 16, 2011)

$324 million dollars, -YIKES!!!!!!

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Nov 16, 2011)

I wonder if the newly manufactured Sony NEX 5Ns still have the movie-click defect. If not, they should have some kind of special markings, so prospective customers know that they are getting a camera that doesn't have that defect.

1 upvote
Mal_In_Oz
By Mal_In_Oz (Nov 16, 2011)

This might be helpful...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1042&message=39824621

1 upvote
lordsakana
By lordsakana (Nov 16, 2011)

Yes, this is precisely why I did not purchase a 5N.

0 upvotes
JackRhine
By JackRhine (Nov 16, 2011)

Was the "factory" the actual factory or was it an assembly plant? I can't think that everything was manufactured under one roof or only in that area. I hope that it was only the assembly plant and that the parts manufacturing was done in other areas. Does anyone know? I hope you are right BMWX5, it would be great for Christmas... or MLK day, anything sooner than the second quarter2012.

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Nov 16, 2011)

MirrorLess Kompakt day?

0 upvotes
knowsnocamera
By knowsnocamera (Nov 16, 2011)

Yup, totally agree with not paying more. They are a large company. In fact, they should try to lower prices to sell more to make up for lost time. I, and I'm quite sure 90%+ other people are not willing to have their price go up just because of this. If they do, there are other companies out there coming up with new cameras.

All we can hope for now is that prices are lowered a bit for the delay and quality is maintained or raised to entice customers to get the camera when new ones will be announced soon.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Nov 16, 2011)

the area that is now flooded is basically finished. no company is going to want to rebuild there only to have their factories wiped out again.

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

Great news. Just in time for Christmas...

0 upvotes
JackRhine
By JackRhine (Nov 16, 2011)

I pay enough. There is no charity involved in these purchases. This might be a theoretical great idea if they would reciprocate, but alas during good times they will not reduce their price for products. And please don't give them any ideas. Sony is a great brand with great products, they do not need charity. Also, if they raise prices they will also loose customers. If you want send a check to the company.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 16, 2011)

If you pay a premium to buy a scarce product, it's not called charity, but you pay more, just the same. Oddly, some people will pay just for the thrill of early purchase, rather than wait. This sort of turns the "charity starts at home" notion on its head.

0 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 16, 2011)

"the cost of the flood damage would be around 25 billion yen ($324m)"

That's three times what Pentax cost to buy. So Sony basically lost three entire Pentax Imaging companies in the flood. And are now rebuilding three whole Pentax companies with insurance money. Sort of puts the size difference between these camera makers/competitors in context.

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Nov 16, 2011)

It's also about 1/2 an Olympus consulting fee.

Glad that they're up and running. No doubt the Thai people need the business.

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Nov 16, 2011)

$300 million is a pretty small amount, their TV division just announced an annual loss of $2.2 billion...

0 upvotes
eijihappou
By eijihappou (Nov 16, 2011)

The only good thing about the delay is that it is giving me a little more time to actually save up enough money to buy the NEX-7 without having to see it in the store all the time (^ ^;)

2 upvotes
DPSurfer
By DPSurfer (Nov 16, 2011)

And I will now finalise to buy a NEX 5N, not only to help but because it's a great product.

3 upvotes
lordsakana
By lordsakana (Nov 16, 2011)

Be careful:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1042&message=39824621

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Nov 16, 2011)

I would pay an extra 15% for sony or nikon products if it can help those companies & workers go on. Nikon especially, because it is a small company.
I will also pay more in the future for better quality products and better working conditions for those workers.

2 upvotes
h00ligan
By h00ligan (Nov 16, 2011)

Would you pay 15% more if they built them in the USA?

0 upvotes
mjkerpan
By mjkerpan (Nov 16, 2011)

For camera equipment? Probably not. The US doesn't have the sort of detail-orientation and obsession over precision that it takes to make a first rate camera. Japn and Germany are just about the only countries that do.

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Dec 26, 2011)

@ mjkerpan: U.S. advancements in space and electronics are just two examples of American technological leadership and precision. Whatever forces are preventing U.S. camera production, "obsessive precision" isn't one of them.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 45