Economic slowdown hits again

Canon has delayed the construction of a £80m factory because of concerns about slowing camera sales worldwide.

Amateur Photographer has an official statement from Canon in which it explains that it has postponed the start of construction of the facility in Nagasaki, which was originally due to begin in January. Production was scheduled to start in December 2009.

Here’s the statement:

Canon Inc. announced today that

it would delay the construction and start of operation of Nagasaki

Canon Inc., the manufacturing base in Higashi Sonogi-gun, Nagasaki

Prefecture, established in July this year.

Since 2000, demand for digital cameras has continued to increase

rapidly. As demand is expected to continue growing in the future, Canon

recognizes the need to expand its production capacity for both digital

SLR and compact digital cameras.

Upon newly establishing Nagasaki Canon, original plans had called

for starting construction in January 2009 and commencing operation in

December 2009, carrying out production operations in collaboration with

Oita Canon Inc., also located in Kyushu.

Recently, however, growth in demand for digital cameras has

rapidly declined compared with original projections due to the global

economic downturn triggered by the failure of major U.S. securities

firms, which has necessitated a revision of earlier production plans.

This serious drop in demand is expected to continue for a period

of time. These factors led to the company’s decision to delay the start

of construction and operation of the new manufacturing site.

With regard to future construction and operation plans for

Nagasaki Canon, Canon will watch market developments for the time being

and announce a revised schedule once the timing has been determined.

This decision will have no impact on the hiring of individuals

that have already received employment offers and are scheduled for hire

from January 2009, including new graduates in April 2009. These

individuals will undergo training at Oita Canon as originally planned

and will be assigned.