Nikon and Sony production down for 1-2 months!

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First I want to say that I wish all our Thai readers and friends all the best to recover from the huge flood that hit their country. What’s coming next is just a technical informative report about the consequences of the flood on Nikon and Sony’s industry. As you see from the image on top (Source: Nationalmultimedia) the Nikon and Sony factories have been submerged by water. I talked with my sources about the current situation in the area and they told me there will be a production stop of at least one-two months! Nikon will probably delay the D800 announcement and Sony will delay the Sony NEX-7 shipment. Also Amazon.com (Click here) is not taking any NEX-7 preorders anymore with the following reason: “Due to manufacturing concerns”. And the surprising thing is that they invite buyers to buy m43 cameras because “These sleek new cameras with lens versatility are available today” (again, click here to read).

What does it mean for m43? The NEX-7 gained a lot of attention from the press and photographers. If the NEX-7 will be delayed until January or even February than this could be a big chance for the upcoming Panasonic GX1 camera. It’s not “Schadensfreude” (malicious joy). It’s a matter of fact that if the GX1 will be similar to the NEX-7 than some of buyers may will get that camera instead of the Sony. Anyway, it’s up to Panasonic now to not disappoint us!

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  • pdc

    Glad I’m into Panasonic and not Canon/Nikon/Sony. Their factories in Malaysia and China were able to keep the pace going after the tsunami, and they will benefit from the grief the other companies have in Thailand.

    • Shit can happen everywhere, and I feel no reasons to be glad about the mess in Thailand.

  • Trevor

    Well, that’s Amazon suggesting users “feel free to check out products from Panasonic, Olympus and Nikon.” In other words, Amazon doesn’t want to lose the sales just because Sony is having problems.

  • twoomy

    I feel for everybody in Thailand and I also feel for Nikon and Canon that are getting hit by disaster after disaster this year making announcements and releases almost impossible.

    As for Panasonic, I have been very excited for their products over the last year, from the GH2 to the 25mm to the X lenses and to the rumored GX1.

    But Panasonic has its own problems getting product to the U.S. that I’m starting to lose faith in them. I’m pretty sure they will NOT be able to take advantage of any market advantage because they have delays and supply issues that have nothing to do with natural disasters. That’s business as usual for them.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Blame the dollar as much as anything else. Today 1€ = $1.38.

      If prices are $100/100€, who would you ship to first?

      • Miroslav

        +10
        And blame “quantitative easing” and bringing dollar down on purpose.

      • Boooo!

        It’s not just that. The US almost always has everything for even less than the stupid $1=1€ conversion ratio. For example, you can get the 12-60 for $830 on amazon.com, which is 600€. If you go to amazon.de, you will need to pay 1033€, which is an incredible 72% more, before someone mentions anything about VAT.

        So yeah, if you don’t have a surplus of goods, there’s absolutely no point in shipping to the US first, because you can get tons of money in Europe instead.

        • WT21

          VAT is not insignificant. Isn’t the German VAT rate about 19%, or about 164€ (if it’s included in that price). If so, then the price is 868€.

          When I worked for a US company, serving Europe, I can tell you that the cost of doing business in Europe is much greater. The people you hire are more expensive. The cost (or inability) to lay off people meant higher expenses. We always priced higher in Europe, because the cost of doing business there was much higher, and that’s only gotten worse with the weakening dollar.

          I don’t think these companies are pocketing ALL the differential profits from their European sales. Not saying there are none, but it might not be as high as you might think.

          • Boooo!

            It’s a 72% higher price in the case of the 12-60. That’s way, way beyond the included VAT and higher costs of operation. You will also never see any rebates in Europe, whereas they’re common in the US, sometimes bringing the item price down substantially, to the point of said item costing exactly double in Europe.

            A couple of years ago, I was buying a new monitor. People in the US paid $200 for that model due to discounts and rebates, whereas I had to pay the equivalent of $450.

            From what I hear, Australia has it even worse…

            It’s not just physical goods, it’s virtual goods as well. It’s not at all uncommon that a game on Steam costs $10, 10€ and £10 at the same time.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Maybe Panasonic’s top management is sending those US shipments to some company in Cayman Islands instead…

  • Ark-kun

    >But Panasonic has its own problems getting product to the U.S. that I’m starting to lose faith in them. I’m pretty sure they will NOT be able to take advantage of any market advantage because they have delays and supply issues that have nothing to do with natural disasters. That’s business as usual for them.

    My thoughts exactly.

  • 43434

    well it´s no news that nikon is drowning….

  • Mike

    Admin,

    Without knowing what type of camera the GX1 will be, how will you know if it will be a camera that will even be aimed for your use? If it is the new low end consumer m43 then I don’t see how it could meet whatever expectations you have. Have you heard anything about the positioning of this camera relative to the G, GF, and GH lines? I would hope that the GX line is a new high end line with a GF-like profile so that they could have the smaller GF and GX lines and the larger G and GH lines.

    I suppose even if it is the new low end consumer and the new sensor is improved over what we have now, or has some other fantastic tech like global shutter, it would be good times for all m43 owners.

    Regarding the floods – my thoughts and prayers go out to the Thai people.

    • Mr. Reeee

      What? A possible name and fanboi fantasy drawings aren’t enough for you? You want to see a spec sheet and IQ tests? Jeez, you don’t want much do you? ;-)

      • Mike

        Don’t get me wrong, Mr. R. The fan made mockups and drawings do look cool. :)

  • mpgxsvcd

    Were the floods caused by a hurricane or just persistent rains?

    • Boot

      Rain.

    • LLLL

      it was caused by screaming and crying over the nikon V1…..

  • Yup, this is the big chance for Panasonic to leap forward, with Sony down and Olympus mired in a power struggle. Unfortunately Panasonic is its worst enemy, I think the M43 department is mismanaged.

  • Minor correction: Nikon has three manufacturing plants that can make cameras: Sendai (Japan), Ayutthaya (Thailand), and Waxi (China). The D800 would be made in Sendai. As far as I know, Nikon has not changed plans to announce it, though it is still possible they might change their minds.

    What might also happen is that Nikon shifts some production to Waxi. They might be able to do that with some of the dozen or so lenses that were manufactured in Thailand (some of those lenses had previously been shifted from Japan to Thailand), but I think the bodies would be harder to move.

    • LLLL

      but parts of the camera are only produced in thailand.

      • True, but Nikon (and others) have been working on spreading parts supply ever since the quake. Now with the flood, I think everyone is looking long and hard at the supply chain. We’re going to see everyone double-up (plants capable of switching production, dual suppliers not in the same area).

        • WT21

          In the late 90s, I sold supply chain software that was designed to optimize sourcing and manufacturing to avoid supply chain disruption. I haven’t been in supply chain since 2003, but I would have thought that was all embedded in companies now. They seem just as exposed as they were 12+ years ago. Do they never learn?

          • flash

            They learn, then they forget, then they learn again. That is how it is with us humans, so nothing will change till we are replaced:)

  • Miroslav

    Olympus and Panasonic have been very lucky concerning this years’ natural disasters… But they’ve got to work a bit on their camera features as well.

  • snowflake

    This is tragic on so many levels.

    Sunny days will come again.

    I hope nations and peoples of the world come together and help.

  • pdc

    The big loser in the long run will be Thailand, especially Bangkok. The manufacturers will build new plants elsewhere as the cause of the flooding cannot be easily rectified. It is a result of inadequate or damaged flood control infrastructure in the lower reaches of the Chao Phraya river, compounded by deforestation in the source areas of the upstream tributaries (Ping and Nan being the main ones, which arise in the mountains in the north). Sure, sh_t happens, but there are those that benefit at the expense of the losers. To Panasonic’s credit they are making sizeable donations to help the Thai people most affected by this.

  • Marc

    This is an echo, of what most are thinking after reading this.
    The marketing team at Panasonic should go out for beers tonight. They just got a break. Now is their chance to take advantage of a lull in the oncoming NEX-7 onslaught. If the GX1 is a hit, Panny could capitalize on this, and push up the Micro 4/3 models in overall unit sales numbers. The distribution operations teams should iron out the wrinkles for a decent execution on this. In no way is this a fortuitous thing for Thailand. But this could give Panasonic a real break, with a follow up – in how they deliver a GH2/flagship replacement in time for the Olympics in London next summer, and Photokina. Go for a hit with the GX1, don’t disappoint the enthusiast, deliver something phenomenal with a revamped GH replacement (global shutter, remote driver/viewer on an IOS /Android device,some seriously wow lenses like a Leica Summilux 80mm f/1.4 ) and they might be able to get the upper hand over Sony.

  • Mice

    Itadakimasu.

  • bookervrk

    Supply of Nikon entry-level DSLR would be affected in this flood,but Nikon 1 series are manufactured in Wuxi.(Confirmed in the post from Mobile01 today, they do have very lovely concept of colors about the design)
    So, GF and E-PM series still have the enemy and hot war to fight.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s not “Schadensfreude” (malicious joy)”
    It should be schadenfreude instead

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