UPDATE 1-Suzuki eyes inland move of coastal facilities -Nikkei
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Tokyo, July 7 - Suzuki Motor Corp plans to spend 40 billion yen ($494 million) to relocate several coastal facilities further inland to avoid damage from possible tsunamis, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.
Suzuki is planning to move a coastal motorcycle research facility to an alternative site in Hamamatsu, where its main factory is located, when land acquisition is completed this autumn, and may move other facilities in two to three years, the report said.
Development of electric cars and fuel cell motorcycles are set to begin at Hamamatsu by next spring, and the firm is also considering moving production of motorcycle engines from its Hamamatsu plant and relocating automobile engine production from its Makinohara factory, the report added.
A company spokesman said the firm is considering various strategic measures but no decisions had been made.
Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki said last month the company would need to spend to spread out its domestic facilities, all concentrated in the central Tokai region of Japan long seen at high risk of being hit by a major earthquake.
Shares in Suzuki were down 0.7 percent at 1,851 yen in morning trade, underperforming a flat Nikkei benchmark . ($1 = 80.930 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by James Topham and Kentaro Sugiyama; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)