According to a report in the Japanese Asahi newspaper, Nikon is going to stop making cameras in Japan after more than 70 years. Nikon camera manufacturing will now be based in Nikon Thailand, with the Nikon Sendai factory in northern Japan ceasing actual production. It is understand that preparation for the transfer of production of the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6 started in October, while production of the flagship D6 DSLR will be transferred to Thailand by the end of 2021. The move is part of Nikon’s ongoing cost-cutting measures.
Founded in 1971, Sendai Nikon is located in Natori City, to the south of Sendai City. As the Asashi explains, “production of single-lens reflex cameras began with EM (released in 1979), nicknamed “Little Nikon,” and gradually shifted to production of high-end models. It has also played a role as a “mother factory” that provides technical guidance to overseas production factories.”
Many Nikon owners will be used to camera bodies and lenses being made outside of Japan so it remains to be seen what effect this will have on sales. Labour costs are presumably a lot lower in Thailand too, so the move makes sense in this context. See our recent interview with a top Nikon Europe executive here.