Hitachi Construction Machinery has recently made its independent presence at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2023 after terminating its joint venture agreement with Deere in 2022. Hitachi’s Chairman, Sonny Ishii, stated that the American market was the company’s top priority as it seeks to increase its market share there.
Termination of the Joint Venture Agreement with Deere
Hitachi Construction Machinery had a 33-year marketing and production deal with Deere, during which they jointly built excavators for North and South America. However, the contract was terminated in February 2022, and Deere bought the factories to start making its own line of excavators. Hitachi and Deere have a new supply agreement for Deere excavators, and Deere also disclosed a new compact excavator contract with Wacker Neuson.
Launch of the Hitachi Worldwide Brand in America
After the split, Hitachi aggressively grew both its workforce and distribution network, with sales increasing ten times in the same time period. The company launched its first line of independently produced excavators for North America in May 2022 at its Newnan, Georgia, headquarters, which were manufactured in Japan and brought to this region. Hitachi plans to double the volume observed in 2022 and again in 2023, and Chairman Sonny Ishii claimed that Hitachi is constructing “something unique.”
Direct Involvement with Customers and Dealers
According to Ishii, even though Hitachi provided a large portion of the excavator technology during the joint venture, the company had been shielded from direct consumer and dealer feedback for the previous 20 years. To meet their requirements, Ishii remarked that Hitachi’s foundation and future are built on direct involvement with the customers and direct engagement with the dealers. Hitachi’s head engineer for construction goods in Japan travelled to the United States to personally hear from consumers and dealers, which helped to get the changes implemented that were needed to continue to innovate on their product.
Redesign of Excavators and Wheel Loaders
Hitachi’s excavators and wheel loaders underwent a thorough redesign by more than 3,000 engineers in Japan, thanks to the feedback from consumers and dealers. The company plans to keep listening, coming up with new ideas, and putting them into practice with the products, aiming to remain the market leader in providing customers with what they require for their excavators and loaders.
Looking Towards the Future
By 2028, Hitachi hopes to rank among the top three North American producers of construction machinery, thanks to its updated machinery, expanding staff, and dealer network. Chairman Ishii declared his excitement about the future, stating that he is more excited about the future now than when he joined the company. The customer reaction, followed by the dealer reaction, followed by the employee reactions, took this excitement to a whole other level. Hitachi aims to develop something extraordinary in the construction sector and become the source of differentiation beyond the product.