Suzuki is to spend JPY40bn (US$494m) relocating several of its coastal facilities further inland to avoid damage from possible tsunamis, according to the Nikkei business daily.

The company 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 Suzuki is also considering moving production of motorcycle engines from its Hamamatsu plant and relocating car engine production from its Makinohara factory, the Nikkei said.

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.