Nikon is finishing a process started 30 years ago, now moving the production of even the highest-end camera bodies offshore to the Thailand factory that just experienced 1,500 layoffs. The Sendai factory in Japan (pictured from above) will be used to produce parts for video cameras and new product launches, particularly in the mobile and video realms.
Six weeks ago, Nikon announced it was cutting 2,000 staff outside of Japan, with other reports noting that 1,500 of those cuts came from the Thailand manufacturing operation. Nikon has been pulling back at the same time it is facing urgent needs to flesh out its new full frame mount system. The company, worth about $5 billion a year ago, is worth about half that now and carries more than $1.1 billion of debt.
All that said, the freefall in camera sales across the industry appears to have slowed or stopped for now, and Nikon may have survived the worst with a legitimate claim to a stake in the mirrorless full frame business, albeit one with the fewest lens options.