Nikon may transfer staff skilled in assembling DSLRs to China, Amateur Photographer can confirm.

Nikon may transfer staff skilled in assembling DSLRs to China, Amateur Photographer (AP) can confirm.

Nikon currently makes most of its DSLRs in Thailand where production is understood to have recently returned to normal levels following last year?s flooding disaster.

At present, the firm does not manufacture any DSLRs in China.

Higher-end Nikon DSLRs, including the D800 and D4, are made in Sendai, Japan.

Last year Nikon was forced to shut down its production facilities in northern Japan following the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Earlier this week Japanese photo industry newsletter Pen stated that Nikon is ?now considering transfer of DSLR assembly know-how to China from Thailand ? dispatching experienced workers?.

Asked to comment on the report, a Nikon Japan spokesperson told AP: ?There is always a possibility that Nikon could consider the transfer of DSLR assembly know-how as an option to explore for the future.?

Nikon has not made clear whether or not this means DSLRs may be produced in China at some future date.

Nikon currently produces its Nikon 1 compact system cameras and Coolpix models in China.

Speaking at February?s CP + trade show in Japan, Nikon?s general manager for marketing, Nobuaki Sasagaki appeared to rule out the possibility of splitting production of a particular DSLR across two plants in order to minimise a product line?s vulnerability to natural disaster.

Sasagaki told AP: ‘We are working on ways to safeguard production from these problems in the future and, while having two factories with D800 production lines is possible, it would not be an effective way to operate.’

Last month, the Thai prime minister got a chance to handle Nikon?s flagship DSLR the D4 on a visit to the firm?s factory in Sendai.

Yingluck Shinawatra was at the plant to ?encourage? some workers from the flood-hit Nikon Thailand Co factory who were in Japan ?to help alternative productions’, according to a statement posted on Nikon’s Tokyo-based website on 9 March.

Nikon declined to comment on whether this meant that the firm was poised to scale back DSLR operations in Thailand.

Nikon is understood to manufacture around 90% of all its DSLRs and 60% of its interchangeable lenses in Thailand.

The Ayutthaya plant normally churns out about five million DSLRs per year, and a similar number of lenses.

Picture: The Nikon D5100 is among the DSLRs made in Thailand