Kyocera Shifting Some Copier/MFP Production to Vietnam to Avoid Tariffs

The Nikkei Asian Review reported on August 3rd that Kyocera will relocate production of some of its copier/MFPs designed for the U.S. market from China to Vietnam in order to avoid U.S. tariffs. Last week, U.S. President threatened a 10-percent tariff on a remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports to the United States, which would include printers and copier/MFPs. The new tariff would go into effect on September 1, 2019. Previously, Kyocera had shipped copier/MFPs that it made in Vietnam to Europe.

Kyocera President Hideo Tanimoto told reporters: “We will switch production between Chinese facilities and Vietnamese facilities.”

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the cost of the shift could cost billions of yen (1 billion yen equals $9.2 million).

Kyocera’s Tanimoto also expressed deep concerns over the Chinese economy: “The effect of China’s economic slowdown will be bigger than that from the additional tariffs. If the fourth round of sanctions against China are implemented, the Chinese economy will be impacted.”

Earlier Vietnam Factory Announcement

Back in June 2018, Kyocera had announced that it’s building a third factory in Vietnam in order to increase production capacity for its copier/MFPs and printers.

The company says the expansion will lead to an increased production capacity in line with its acceleration of copier/MFP  and printer production.

At the new plant, Kyocera will focus on expanding its production system, enhancing its ability to produce parts in-house, and increase logistics efficiency to deal with the production increase of MFPs and printers. It says it will also use the IoT (Internet of Things) to collect  information to visualize the production line operating status in the plant, thereby automating feedback on the collected data that it says will further improve efficiency.

The Vietnam Plant, which started production in October 2012, is Kyocera Document Solutions’ second overseas plant after its Shilong Plant in China. The Vietnam Plant will also serve as an R&D facility. For that purpose, the Vietnam Plant relocates its Vietnamese employees to Kyocera Document Solutions R&D Center (headquarters) as trainees. Kyocera says it will continue to support the Vietnamese economy by increasing production of its document-processing products, and will support the development of the local community by creating job opportunities.

Other Companies Shifting Production

Kyocera isn’t alone in shifting copier/MFP production in order to avoid tariffs. Back in May 2019, Ricoh announced that it was shifting production of its copier/MFPs designed for the U.S. market to Thailand (see here for more). HP Inc. President and CEO Dion Weisler has also hinted that HP can shift production as needed to reduce the tariff burden, and Konica MInolta has stated it will shift production in order to minimize the tariff burden (see here for more).

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