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Nikon resumes DSLR shipments, full production expected by March 2012

By dpreview staff on Dec 1, 2011 at 18:50 GMT

Nikon has re-started limited production of DSLRs, following the flooding of its Thai factory, but does not expect to reach full production volumes again until March 2012. 'Alternative and limited production at our partner factories in Thailand has started earlier than expected,' a company statement says: 'we have started shipment of certain digital SLR camera and interchangeable lenses since November 30th.' The company also says the industrial park in which its main factory is based has now been pumped-out, allowing its preparation for resuming production. Nikon still estimates its lost sales at ¥65bn (around $840m).

Public statement:

4th Notice on the damage from the flood in Thailand

December 1, 2011

This is to advise you of the latest situations of Nikon (Thailand) Co., Ltd., A consolidated manufacturing subsidiary of Nikon Corporation in the Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya Province located in Central Thailand, which is suffering damages from the flood.

  1. Latest situations

    Water pumping-out by the Rojana Industrial Park authority around Nikon (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Has completed on November 26. Following this development, we are putting all our energy into restoring infrastructure and production equipment of the factory aiming for some part of factory operation to resume from January 2012. Alternative and limited production at our partner factories in Thailand has started earlier than expected, and we have started shipment of certain digital SLR cameras and interchangeable lenses since November 30.

  2. Estimated impact to our business performance

    The impact of the flood to our business performance for the financial period ending March 31, 2012 is estimated, within the scope of our current findings and understanding, to push down net sales by 65 billion yen and operational income by 25 billion yen due to sales opportunity loss. While this estimation remains unchanged from our announcement on November 4, we assure you to immediately advise new findings once it is judged there will be an important change for it. We are continuing our minute investigation on the damage to the buildings and production equipment / tools from the flood.

  3. Recovery

    We have set up support and recovery system under the Emergency Headquarters for Disaster Control headed by the president and continuing our endeavor for recovery and normalization of production as early as possible. Our plan to resume production of digital SLRs and interchangeable lenses to the normal level of volume by the end of March 2012 remains unchanged.

We deeply apologize you for any inconvenience cause by the disaster such as short supply of our products.

Comments

Total comments: 60
luxmariaj
By luxmariaj (Dec 8, 2011)

The should build them in Romania.

0 upvotes
zagortenai
By zagortenai (Dec 4, 2011)

I really hope that Thai people continue to be occupated in Sony and Nikon plants without loss for their families, for cameras new models, i can wait by taking pics without pain even though new models are on late on the market!
I can survive even without latest model of camera, lucky me!

3 upvotes
seppoiisakki
By seppoiisakki (Dec 4, 2011)

My F2 AS (hand made in Japan) still working fine. No need to hurry with the repairs :)

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
stanginit
By stanginit (Dec 2, 2011)

My D7000 and D300 are still doing fine. No worries :)

3 upvotes
Khizer
By Khizer (Dec 2, 2011)

Are Nikon cameras manufactured in Thailand up to the same standard as those made in Japan? The same does not hold true for so many other electronics goods. Canon still manufactures in Japan.

1 upvote
Camphoneguy
By Camphoneguy (Dec 3, 2011)

Yes. Generally most camera companies keep their high-end products in Japan but that doesn't mean the other lines aren't built well. It just means that's were those factories have been for years.

1 upvote
Khizer
By Khizer (Dec 2, 2011)

I have waited several months for rumoured next generation cameras from Canon and Nikon. I guess I will just go ahead and buy the Canon 1D-X when it arrives in March. Can't wait forever for Nikon's D800 or D4 :(

2 upvotes
Yiotis
By Yiotis (Dec 4, 2011)

I believe you can take photos with D3s and D3x or even D700

1 upvote
kenbass
By kenbass (Dec 4, 2011)

D800 is on Nikon Rumors. Due in spring.

0 upvotes
kenbass
By kenbass (Dec 4, 2011)

http://nikonrumors.com/2011/11/19/ladies-and-gentleman-i-present-to-you-the-nikon-d800.aspx/

1 upvote
Inars
By Inars (Dec 2, 2011)

Looks like Nikon puts all eggs in one basket.
B&H and Adorama shows only D3 models out of stock

0 upvotes
Ilkka Nissilä
By Ilkka Nissilä (Dec 2, 2011)

Huh? Nikon 1 series are manufactured in China, DX DSLRs in Thailand and FX and 35mm cameras in Japan. They have spread out production quite a bit.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Inars
By Inars (Dec 3, 2011)

... and Japan's manufactury damaged from earthquake? Or R&D centre.

0 upvotes
bobn2
By bobn2 (Dec 2, 2011)

I'm just struck by the calm and competent manner in which Nikon is handling the situation. The loss of its two major plants to natural disasters would be a challenge to any company, but Nikon seems to be handling the situation, and providing clear updates. A lesson in management and PR.

8 upvotes
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Dec 2, 2011)

Nikon and other companies should relocate their factory to places in Thailand where the recent flood did not effect.

What about the hard disk manufacturer ( WD and Seagate) - are they manufacturing ??

1 upvote
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Dec 2, 2011)

For hard drive manufactures the matter is even worse the parts that they use in manufacturing HDD's are sourced from manufacturers with plants in Thailand. So even if Seagate and WD shift their plants outside Thailand supplies of spares have taken a hit. as for camera manufacturers many had shifted the production to China after earthquake.

1 upvote
Camphoneguy
By Camphoneguy (Dec 3, 2011)

There weren't too many areas in Thailand that weren't affected.

0 upvotes
sesopenko
By sesopenko (Dec 1, 2011)

Good news for consumers because it means Nikon's competitors will have to try to get their production ramped up around the same time.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Dec 1, 2011)

All well and good, however this doesn't mean anything about the D3s, D3x, or the D700 (or the rumored replacements). Those are all still made in Japan but the earthquake did serious damage to the factory.

1 upvote
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Dec 2, 2011)

Earthquake in Japan delayed many replacement camera models. Nikon's D300s, D700, D3 series are yet to be replaced and Canon's 7D, and 5D mk II are yet to be replaced. Also many canon lenses have been delayed.

1 upvote
MPA1
By MPA1 (Dec 1, 2011)

It's OK. The good ones are made in Japan...!

2 upvotes
magnumgf
By magnumgf (Dec 1, 2011)

You mean the real ones.

4 upvotes
Psycho_McCrazy
By Psycho_McCrazy (Dec 2, 2011)

even if the top cameras and lenses are made in Japan, a fair bit of their parts' supply chain depends on Thailand, notably the rumored sensor of the D800 too! So the Thai issue has caused delays to Japan made products also!

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Dec 1, 2011)

Could have taken the opportunity to move production to a more developed country. A place like Nevada would be perfect, cheap land and free of natural disasters, just have to fight the heat.

5 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Dec 1, 2011)

And pay American-level wages, and adjust the retail prices accordingly...

I'm not saying it can't be done. My Japanese car was built in a USA factory. But if we want more manufacturing in America, we must either be willing to pay a bit more, or be willing to exploit our own workers enough to achieve the low prices we want.

2 upvotes
DFPanno
By DFPanno (Dec 2, 2011)

You can call it exploitation if you would like but it is really just paying market value. If you want to see more jobs in the US you better get used to the idea.

0 upvotes
ovrebekk
By ovrebekk (Dec 2, 2011)

Well, if you expect the camera workers to work for much less than the rest of the country. If everyone agrees to cut the standard of living I don't see any problems with it ;)

0 upvotes
olyflyer
By olyflyer (Dec 2, 2011)

Cheap wages in USA? Compared to Thailand? You must be kidding...

They could have moved to Göteborg, Sweden as well. Advantages: Cheap property and compared to USA even cheap wages (I think). Not only that, but the vicinity to Hasselblad may be an advantage as well.

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Dec 2, 2011)

Long answer:
Higher USA (or anywhere) wages reflect (in theory) higher productivity due to a more advanced economy. Example, a weaver operating a Jacquard loom (advanced tech when it came out) could replace several weavers on manual looms, hence get paid more, reflecting the higher value of his ouput. Too bad for the other weavers put out of work (until the growing economy redeploys them).

If USA wants to maintain its relatively higher wages and living stds it will only be because they develop the tech/economy to support higer individual productivity.

Short answer:
If the USA worker wants to be paid more than the Thai he must add correspondingly more value through greater productivity, or serve a home market protected by import tariffs.

0 upvotes
ebull
By ebull (Dec 2, 2011)

Well what the worker takes home isnt just determined by their productivity its also determined by the share taken by the employer or capital, and that depends a lot on politics. I dont want my cameras to be made by semi-slave labour.

0 upvotes
spbStan
By spbStan (Dec 4, 2011)

Fine theory but the entry level wages paid in most new jobs in the US are not high nor nor productive. Almost any other developed country has a better educated workforce than the US which some states boast of 50% HS drop out rate(boast to employers as a reason to locate in their state.....highly exploitable impoverished labor pool). The US is soon going to be shedding a lot of the medium income white collar jobs as they have all the production jobs. As an employer myself, living in another country now, I find that the employee pool is dramatically better investments were I am now instead of my home country of the US due to the difference in how serious the society is about education and knowing something. The US has a surplus of low productivity middle managers and low count of high productive production oriented jobs. True productivity has gone way down if producing something of value is considered.

0 upvotes
Michael S.
By Michael S. (Dec 1, 2011)

As with every large company in the world - the want to keep the payment for the workers as low as possible and therefore go to countries with fully (!) knowing the risk of earthquakes, flooding, turmoil...just to keep their profits high.

Build your cameras in central Europe and that would have never happened...

0 upvotes
cfh25
By cfh25 (Dec 2, 2011)

Of course, there's never been flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes in the USA or Europe - what a rose-tinted world some of you guys live in.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Dec 1, 2011)

Flooding is one thing those large corporations didn't see coming.

They will be smarter the next time. After a 65 Billion Yen lesson...

3 upvotes
iona64
By iona64 (Dec 1, 2011)

The should build them in Denver.

0 upvotes
Deleted17
By Deleted17 (Dec 1, 2011)

Where I live, if they sell you land that is below sea level, you go to jail. What were they thinking?

2 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Dec 1, 2011)

seems a bit rough - surely it should be they who go to jail, no?
Anyway - how do realtors survive in New Orleans without doing jail time?

2 upvotes
oeoek
By oeoek (Dec 1, 2011)

uhm, most of our country is below sea level... (wet greetings from the Netherlands :-) )

4 upvotes
leno
By leno (Dec 2, 2011)

Oeoek, could your country all please report to the local jails.

1 upvote
sandy b
By sandy b (Dec 2, 2011)

It was a hundred year flood. Maybe the us should evacuate all the cities up the missisippi.

1 upvote
olyflyer
By olyflyer (Dec 2, 2011)

Thailand is not below sea level as far as I know. It's not the sea water which caused the problems but the rain and the water came from higher land, not the sea.

0 upvotes
olyflyer
By olyflyer (Dec 2, 2011)

BTW DeSono, it's a strange country you live in...

In my country the property buyer is responsible to survey the property and to check all the facts. The level of each property is a measurable fact which is clearly stated on the maps.

0 upvotes
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (Dec 2, 2011)

It was an one off event. Just like the eventual breakup of one of the canary islands will be an one off event - which will destroy the whole eastern seaboard of the american continent up and including to the first mountain range exceeding 3000 feet - So you better start evacuating...

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Dec 1, 2011)

they should never have stopped the Nikonos line...

10 upvotes
webfrasse
By webfrasse (Dec 1, 2011)

Paul...good to know what your references are...

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
pauly6734
By pauly6734 (Dec 1, 2011)

They should have the DSLR made in China just minutes across the sea :http://micgadget.com/17011/nikon-mirrorless-cameras-are-made-in-china/

Thailand is where you go for something else ....

1 upvote
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Dec 1, 2011)

Better still, they've dried out all the components and work in progress.

0 upvotes
dormcat
By dormcat (Dec 1, 2011)

> ¥65bn (around $340m)

Something is not right here. According to the exchange rate today, ¥65bn should be US$836.355m. Could it be someone misread 840 into 340?

1 upvote
Leonard Migliore
By Leonard Migliore (Dec 1, 2011)

Unfortunately, the larger number seems correct. I guess DPR did the conversion wrong. Obviously a serious blow to Nikon either way.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 1, 2011)

My calculator is still showing 837m yet somehow I wrote 340, rather than 840. Sorry about that.

Comment edited 6 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Joshlovesphotos
By Joshlovesphotos (Dec 1, 2011)

Yes, you are correct. The actual Nikon press release from the Nikon website says 840.

0 upvotes
toomanycanons
By toomanycanons (Dec 1, 2011)

"...and we're going to pop the top on our building so all future manufacturing will be done on the second floor, above flood level."

0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Dec 1, 2011)

Sony is in the same boat (sorry, couldn't resist) so maybe this may sway them to build a plant somewhere that's less prone to flooding. Say... Arizona.

1 upvote
Goreyo
By Goreyo (Dec 1, 2011)

If they could get away with paying $7 a day in America I'm sure they would.

1 upvote
String
By String (Dec 1, 2011)

If the economy keeps going the way it is, they just might. Of course then they would have to sell those cameras in... SE Asia!

1 upvote
Joshlovesphotos
By Joshlovesphotos (Dec 1, 2011)

It seems amazing to me that we have such low tech dslr cameras, yet we have to rely on two main brands Canon and Nikon (and sony sure sure) for most of our dslr needs and the entire freaking world has to wait for the predecessor to the D700, because apparently no one can make a camera with better color iso and dynamic range performance that fits Nikon lenses. Do you realize how easy it is to design and manufacture dslr cameras?

0 upvotes
Joshlovesphotos
By Joshlovesphotos (Dec 1, 2011)

One flood to a tiny section of an already tiny nation effects a Tiny plant, and suddenly all hell breaks loose. Unbelievable. Ya know?

2 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (Dec 2, 2011)

""has to wait for the predecessor to the D700, because apparently no one can make a camera with better color iso and dynamic range performance""

Well I agree on all what you said, except the colours. I guess any 100 Dollar camera outthere has better colours than Nikon. (I own D3 and D3X)

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SLOtographer
By SLOtographer (Dec 2, 2011)

I'm impressed by their resilience! Although I don't own any Nikon gear, this is about the human factor. Best wishes to all in Thailand affected by the floods!

0 upvotes
amazme1
By amazme1 (Dec 2, 2011)

Two of you need to look up the definition of predecessor. I think you meant "successor".

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Total comments: 60