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.