Earthquake prompts Suzuki site rethink


Suzuki Motor Corp. (Hamamatsu, Japan) plans an investment of 50 billion yen ($635 million) in a new technical center for the development and engineering of motorcycles and next-generation environmental vehicles, and a new plant for the assembly of motorcycle engines, both located in Japan.

Since the current Motorcycle Technical Center is located only 200 meters away from the sea, based on lessons learned from the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011, Suzuki plans to disperse the risks from the anticipated Tokai earthquake, which is forecast to occur in the Tokai district where Suzuki's hub is concentrated within the next few decades with an expected magnitude of at least eight.

Suzuki Corporation has decided to purchase land in Miyakoda Industrial Park located in north of central Hamamatsu to construct the Miyakoda Technical Center. Activities will be transferred to the 14,820-m2 facility by August 2016.

The 59,380- m2 plant will also be located at the same park and is slated for operational start-up in May 2017. Initially assembling motorcycle engines producing vehicles such as next-generation environmental vehicles is also under consideration. Suzuki also plans to restructure its domestic motorcycle development and production bases and consolidate their functions in Hamamatsu in order to improve efficiency.