It’s hard not to say that 2020 was a pretty tough year for Nikon.
Don’t get us wrong – we’re well aware of the troubles that everyone faced in 2020.
But it really looks like Nikon’s chickens came home to roost so to speak because the company, seemingly overnight, became the problem child of the industry.
From declining revenues to eschewing entire product lines, the company is in defense mode to try and right the ship financially.
But Tetsuya Morimoto, Director at Nikon Europe, expressed optimism about the future of Nikon in a recent interview with Amateur Photographer.
On the topic of COVID-19: “As an initial reaction to COVID-19, we saw a halt in customer purchasing. Consumer demand began to drop throughout the world. When consumer demand fluctuates so much, any manufacturer will be faced with challenges relating to the supply-chain. Although we are not totally back to normal levels, we have thankfully seen a healthy recovery, much better than what we had originally anticipated. Global demand is returning strongly.”
Of particular interest to fans and company watchers is what Nikon thinks of its upgrades to Z6 II and Z7 II and whether or not these will be enough to satisfy a fairly demanding market.
“The Z 7II and Z 6II are two models that continue to build on the solid foundation of the Z mount system. We have developed these models based on the feedback from many users, including professionals. Representing the system’s steadfast evolution, the cameras feel familiar in your hands, while supporting further improvements in handling and ergonomics. Again, we have seen steady sales since the release of these models,” Morimoto responded.
When asked about the factory fire and loss of a major components supplier in Japan, he expressed confidence about the company working that out sooner rather than later.
The interview did take place before the company’s announcement that it was moving all of its production to Thailand but, even so, you have to imagine he was somewhat aware of this as an executive and thus his optimism cannot be totally discounted.
One thing is quickly emerging, however, about Nikon and that is that the company is truly in a fight for survival and 2021 could be decisive in deciding that contest.
What do you think the future holds for Nikon? Let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments section below.
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I wish Nikon (and all other camera makers) all the best in their future endeavours but, sadly, I get the feeling that Nikon won’t make it in its present form.
My first Nikon experience was in 1976 when I bought a new F2SB. Made in Japan, I believe that it was hand assembled. I only just sold it to a collector two years ago. It was in good order still. I am amazed at the number of working F2s that are still available to buy on web auction platforms.
That was then.
Nowadays, a move to low-cost production for anything other than entry-level models may bring the stigma of reduced quality. I perceive a factory in Japan as producing higher quality than a factory in Thailand.
Ask any marketeer and they will tell you that ‘product positioning’ is the key to success. That is, positioning the product in the mind of the consumer. Making everything in Thailand is certainly repositioning Nikon as a lower quality manufacturer in my mind.
As for the future, I sense Nikon has started down the slippery slope and I feel a merger or acquisition might come along soon.
I was lucky to get a Z7 ii early but it has a power lever that is not functioning. I’m concerned about Nikon quality as they have no process to have it returned to them to find the root cause other than a standard warranty repair. I would think they would be all over this for both quality and customer experience reasons but they are not.