Suzuki to move parts plant uphill

JIJI

Suzuki Motor Corp. said it will move its automobile and motorcycle parts factory, now at a site close to the sea in the city of Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture, further inland to prevent damage from potential tsunami.

The move comes after a huge tsunami, triggered by the March 2011 earthquake, devastated parts of Tohoku region’s coastline.

Shortly after the quake hit, Suzuki announced plans to transfer its research and development facility in Iwata and part of the motorcycle lines at its headquarters plant in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, to the Miyakoda district of Hamamatsu.

The vehicle and motorcycle parts plant will be relocated to the same new site, Suzuki said Thursday.

The cost of transferring the existing facilities and building new ones will come to about ¥61 billion, up from the initially estimated ¥50 billion.

The new parts plant and R&D center will start operating at the end of 2016 and within 2015, respectively, Suzuki said. The new motorcycle-making facility will likely be completed in 2017, it said.