By definition Nikon is in financial trouble. It has failed to meet predicted profits - and for a company that tends to be modest in its profit forecasts, that is a worrying event. It has also tied itself into production in countries where the economies are linked to currencies other than the yen, so it is at the mercy of currency markets. If you could take a look at my face right now you would see my "well there you go, you shouldn't have been so greedy" look. Companies that take jobs away from their domestic markets get little sympathy from me, whether it is in my own country or elsewhere.
Nikon has failed to give many prospective customers what they want for some years now. There have been some notable successes such as D700, D800/e, D3100, etc. However, it has chased after other sectors on the basis of popularism and fashion. It has turned itself in many respects into a sheep, rather than a shepherd. Don't believe me? Then why did it become a johnny-come-lately in the CSC market, chasing after Olympus, Panasonic and others by producing the V and J series cameras that have failed to excite the market? Today's news has details of Nikon announcing it will have to reduce stocks and prices of these cameras because sales have been disappointing.
Nikon has also produced some questionable models; e.g., the D3200 - a starter camera with a massive megapixel sensor, when it already had the successful D3100 ...and it is still selling the D3100 alongside the D3200 thus cannibalising sales of the newer version. Please don't get me wrong here - the D3200 is a good camera, but did beginners need 20+ megapixels just yet? Maybe in a year or two when the intermediate camera models have moved past that, but not right now.
Meanwhile, Nikon has abandoned its pro DX users while questionably pandering to the perceived FX needs of consumers. Sales of the D600 have been disappointing for Nikon so far, with the retail price of the D600 plumetting by 20-25% since it release just a few months ago. The D600 is an excellent camera, but it has been released at a time when financial frugality is the norm in many parts of the world. Buying an expensive new FX body and new lenses is not a priority for consumers.
Nikon has released the D600 while ignoring the market for a D400. It is rather presumptuous and arrogant to assume that top-end DX users are going to throw away all their glass (built up over many years) to buy a whole new outfit of lenses to go with an FX body just because Nikon wants them to adopt the latest trend. In taking this approach, Nikon had made a faux pas - it has unwittingly pushed a significant chunk of its user base (D100/D200/D300 users) into a position where they will feel "hey, if I have got to start over again with lenses I might as well look at all the other camera brands on the market". Dumb move!
Nikon, is rapidly losing its lead position by turning itself into a follower instead of a leader. This is reflected in its declining profits and financial woes. Take heed, Nikon, otherwise you will plummet further. Only a fool would assume that an established brand could never fail, or that it could not be acquired by another player.
Steve (Bedfordshire, England) My Nikonians Gallery- please visit and leave a comment A Nikon in the hand is worth two in the bag!