Nikon Expanding to Laos for Its DSLR Manufacturing


Nikon has announced that it will soon be opening up a new DSLR-making factory in the Southeast Asian country of Laos (officially called Lao People’s Democratic Republic).

The Japanese camera company says that the purpose of the expansion is to reinforce its manufacturing and to reduce the costs associated with creating the cameras.

When the plant starts up in October 2013, it’ll be tasked with producing components of entry-level and mid-level DSLRs, which will then be completely assembled as finished products at Nikon’s facilities in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

A Wikipedia map showing where Laos is located in Southeast Asia

A Wikipedia map showing where Laos is located in Southeast Asia

The $6.3 million factory will have 10,000 square meters of floor space and will employ 800 employees.

No word on whether this development is related at all to the fact that Nikon’s Thailand facilities were crippled by massive flooding back in late 2011, reportedly causing major setbacks to Nikon’s DSLR roadmap.

Image credit: Vientiane by goflashpacker

  • Steve Stevenson

    Maybe they can lower their prices, since they will be employing people at very low wages.
    Come on Nikon, make the stuff in Japan.

  • Tommy Sar

    It’s unfortunate the Cambodian government can’t get their acts together to attract Nikon or other manufacturers.

  • f2point8

    Nice picture. Does all of Laos look like this?

  • Bob

    With all the jobs going East & mass unemployment in the West, Who will be able to afford them?? Backward economics for the short term gain!

  • catfish252

    It doesn’t all look like this many times there are Water Buffalo wandering around. You should have seen it in the 1970’s when I was there. However it does look a whole lot cleaner than India

  • tyrohne

    wait.. Nikon is from the West? /confused

  • Ulfson1

    well nikon has enough quality issues.. does this move make sense?

  • Scott Verge

    People rising out of economic obscurity in the east?

    Why should any jobs go to the west before the east?

    How do we expect manufactures to keep prices reasonable while paying $10-20 an hour in the west?

  • Brad Trent

    Well…the Laotian people ARE known for their stellar quality control, aren’t they?!! Oh…they’re not??? Well…I guess Nikon must have another perfectly simple explanation for moving a high tech assembly facility there!

  • matt jones

    Thailand’s new minimum wage must be irking them

  • Jean Valjean

    Yes. They use robots.

  • CmdrAdobo

    Should go to Philippines. Lots of Pentax, Fujifilm works there.

  • Christopher Panzner

    I would think DSLR need to be manufactured in clean rooms. I can’t imagine that facility will ever be a clean room.

  • Fastlens

    At the prices they charge North American maybe thet should look at their pricing since they seem to be focussing on the cheapest labour available. Ditto for Canon

  • Glenn Sundeen

    There are a lots of negative comments about Laos here, I am sure all from people who have never been there. It is a financially poor developing country, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that they are stupid or incapable of being clean. They won’t be making camera parts on the streets! I am sure Nikon will build a fancy modern factory just like they have in Thailand, China and Japan. And why do western countries deserve jobs more than eastern ones anyway? Tsk tsk.

  • Bob

    Are you retarded or something? Who said Nikon was from the West?? All manufacturing is now in the East….Yes??? Hence all new jobs being created in the East…Follow?? Not many new jobs in the West….Yes?? Hence less money for people to spend in the West….Comprende??? Low Low wages in the East, cameras too expensive for majority of east workforce, but more people in west unemployed & little money to spend on luxuries….are we there yet…..GOD!!

  • Scott Verge

    Exactly, since when are American, Japanese or Europeans the only people capable of quality work?

    Seems there is more then a little racism in some of these posts.

  • Mr Universe

    I’m living and working in Laos since long time and for Nikon it will be a challenging task to manage their employees in order to get quality products. No racism here (I’m married with a Lao), just some pragmatism however I really hope facts will prove me wrong.

  • Scott Verge

    Ok well at least yours is an informed opinion. Thanks :)

    Can I ask your thoughts on the calls for the jobs to go to westerners?