Hitachi celebrates 40 years in Europe
Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME) celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special event in Oosterhout, The Netherlands, on 31 August. Many of its employees and their families enjoyed the festivities, held at the company’s original headquarters. HCME President Moriaki Kadoya led the celebrations and was joined by former HCME President Mitsuhiro Tabei – currently Vice President and Executive Officer of Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (HCM) – and Shinichi Mihara, HCM Director.
The European subsidiary of HCM was established with just four people, led by Mr Okajima, in 1972. Following a partnership with Fiat between 1986 and 2001, the management, international sales, product support and marketing functions moved to Amsterdam in 2002, where a new facility for manufacturing medium excavators was being built. The Hitachi mini excavator and special application equipment factories, European parts depot and HCME's Dutch dealer,are still located in Oosterhout.
Mr Kadoya summarised the company’s achievements over the past four decades during his speech: “In 1972, HCME started with four employees and now we are a company of 600 people with a turnover of 600 million euros.” He also paid tribute to all the company’s employees, their families, suppliers and dealers, saying: “Thanks to all of you, we have been able to achieve this milestone.”
HCME is proud of its long history in The Netherlands and Europe. Over the past 40 years, it has gradually extended its network of dealers and liaison offices throughout the rest of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the CIS. During that time, it has witnessed a steady growth in demand for Hitachi construction machinery across all of its territories. Since 2002, for example, the total market share for excavators up to six tonnes has doubled and the equivalent figure for wheel loaders has tripled.
“We are delighted with how our business has continued to thrive and Hitachi is of course here to stay in Europe,” added Mr Kadoya. “Our ongoing commitment to our customers is to improve our business activities, so that we can continue to help them to be profitable.”
In addition, HCME celebrated the 40th anniversary with its customers and international dealer network. On 29 September, HCME’s Dutch dealer organised an open house event for its customers, which was held in conjunction with the inauguration of the company’s new facilities. Many visitors were able to have a close look at the new Hitachi Zaxis-5 excavators and ZW-5 wheel loaders, as well as testing the latest range of machines in a special demonstration area. The highlight of the event was undoubtedly a raffle held to win a ZX10U-2 mini excavator.
The final celebration took place on 11-12 October, when HCME’s international dealers were invited to a conference and anniversary gala. Special guests included former HCME presidents from the past 40 years, including Mr Okajima, who opened the doors to HCME’s first premises in 1972.
As the 12th president of HCME, Mr Kadoya closed the festivities by thanking all of the dealers, “I recognise that there is much passion, ambition and drive within our European dealer network to promote and support Hitachi construction equipment. We are extremely grateful for your loyalty and commitment, and we will continue to honour this by supplying the level of technology required to compete in the construction industry today.”
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