Japanese automakers are continuing to evaluate their strategies for coping with natural disasters after this year's earthquake and tsunami, and for Suzuki, that apparently means packing up shop and moving to higher ground. According to Automotive News, the manufacturer is investing around $494 million to move its factories and research center away from the coastal city of Hamamatsu. The report notes that scientists estimate that there's an 80 percent chance that an 8.0-magnitude earthquake will befall the coastline between Tokyo and Nagoya in the next 30 years, but for Suzuki, the larger concern is radiation contamination associated with a failing nuclear reactor.
Currently, the company's facilities are located near the Hamaoka reactor, which is receiving modifications to protect against the kind of meltdown seen elsewhere in the country. Suzuki plans to purchase around 67 acres of land 6.2 miles from the coast and 30 miles from the reactor for its new complex. It's also investigating new locations both in Japan and abroad for its manufacturing facilities.