Japanese printer makers to turn Vietnam into manufacturing base

March 30, 2015 | 11:56
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Fuji Xerox, Kyocera, and Canon are strengthening the role of their Vietnamese production facilities so as to cater to the growing global demand.

Fuji Xerox is planning to raise the utilisation of its only plant in the northern port city of Haiphong up from its current 50 per cent usage and turn it into a production hub which will serve the entirety of the fast growing Asia Pacific region. Fuji Xerox Haiphong started production in November 2013. The plant, which cost $120 million, is now able to produce two million unit per year and currently employs 1,600 people.

Fuji Xerox’s president Tadahito Yamamoto cited the approaching ASEAN Economic Community and Trans-Pacific Partnership as contributing to the firm’s decision to expand the plant.

Moreover, “labour costs in China as well as additional costs are rising. Fuji Xerox’s plants in China have reached full capacity and the incentives given to Fuji Xerox by the Chinese government are expiring,” he said, “so rather than investing in China, we chose Vietnam.”

Another Japanese printer manufacturer, Kyocera recently announced that it intended to invest an additional $57.8 million in its operations in Vietnam. By August, a new plant will be built that can manufacture metal moulds and plastic parts. Meanwhile, the company’s current assembly plant, which has the total investment capital of $250 million, started operating in 2013 in Haiphong. This will be expanded so that by the end of March 2018 it will be able to produce two million units a year, a four-fold increase.

At present, Kyocera globally makes more than two million multifunctional printers annually, primarily in China. After the expansion in Vietnam, the company’s multifunction printer output will rise by more than 70 per cent to 3.5-4 million units a year.

Meanwhile, Japanese laser printer and camera manufacturer Canon has already set a strong foothold with four operating factories and employing 25,000 workers in Vietnam, with the total committed capital of $400 million.

Most recently, in 2014 Canon invested an additional $27 million fund in its Tien Son printer plant to bring the output up to 10.8 million products a year and the factory’s total workforce to 5,400 employees by 2016.

While increasing production, the Japanese manufacturers also hope to increase local content in their products. Fuji Xerox Haiphong hopes its domestically produced parts will contribute over 90 per cent of the product value generated in its first Vietnam-based plant, increasing upon the current 50 per cent. However, Fuji Xerox Haiphong’s current suppliers are not Vietnamese firms. Instead, the company uses Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese firms located in Vietnam.

By By Khanh Tran

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