Komatsu Ltd. — a global manufacturer and supplier of equipment, technologies and services for the construction, forklift, mining, industrial and forestry markets — celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021.
Komatsu was established in Komatsu City, Japan, in 1921, then grew over the next century through investments and acquisitions, connecting people and technology to “solve challenges and meet society’s needs,” Komatsu stated.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Komatsu has a presence in 140 countries and directly employs more than 60,000 people through its facilities, distributors and dealers.
Companies worldwide have used Komatsu equipment and services to develop modern infrastructure, extract fundamental minerals, maintain forests and create technology and consumer products.
“Towards the next 100 years, we will create value through manufacturing and technology innovation to empower a sustainable future where businesses, people, and our planet thrive together,” said Komatsu Ltd. President and CEO Hiroyuki Ogawa in a 100th anniversary message.
People are also reading…
Komatsu through the years
1921 Komatsu Ltd. founded by Meitaro Takeuchi in Japan
1938 opened Awazu Plant, producing tractors and munitions during second Sino-Japanese War
1952 opened Osaka Plant, making artillery shells during Korean War
1955 signed first export agreement for motor grader delivery to Argentina
1961 introduced quality control method in manufacturing
1962 opened Oyama Plant as base for engines production
1964 won then-Deming Application Prize for quality control
1964 expanded exports to Europe, opening first oversees subsidiary in Belgium
1973 formed joint venture in Brazil for the production of bulldozers
1981 won Japan Quality Control Prize
1982 established production base in Indonesia, manufacturing bulldozers, excavators, wheel loaders and motor graders
1985 opened production and sales bases in United States, now Komatsu America Manufacturing Corp. in Tennessee
1985 launched production in the United Kingdom to manufacture excavators and wheel loaders
1988 joint ventured with Dresser Industries to sell construction equipment in Americas
1989 established regional headquarters in Belgium
1991 formed the Komatsu Women’s Judo Team, turn out Olympic medalists
1991 strengthened construction equipment sales in Australia, through what is now Komatsu Australia
1993 formed joint ventures with Cummins to produce engines in Japan and United States
1994 established Komatsu Industries Corp., offering press machines and adding laser cutters and welding robots
1995 opened plants to produce excavators and castings in China
1995 began production of excavators in Thailand through Bangkok Komatsu Co.
1995 began production of wheel loaders in China through what is now Komatsu (Changzhou) Construction Machinery Corp.
1996 expanded product range and introduced super-large hydraulic excavators for mines
1996 invested in modular mining systems and expanded mining equipment business
1997 strengthened sales operation in South Africa
1999 opened sales base in the Middle East
2000 established Gigaphoton Inc., advancing laser technologies as a basis for semiconductor manufacturing
2001 reinforced operations in China by establishing regional headquarters
2002 built new plant in Newberry, South Carolina, initially producing backhoe loaders, and now also wheel loaders
2004 entered forest machine market with purchase of Swedish company
2006 built plant to produce dump trucks in India
2006 develops the Komatsu Way to spell out company mindset and guidelines
2007 built Ibaraki and Kanazawa plants to meet demand for dump trucks, wheel loaders, press machines and hydraulic excavators
2008 remanded Komatsu NTC Ltd., with focus on machining engines and transmissions, and wire saws for use in manufacturing solar panels
2008 deployed an autonomous haul truck in Chile
2008 renamed Komatsu Electronics Inc. to KELK Inc., expanding business with semiconductor-manufacturing-related equipment and micro-modules
2010 opened plant in Russia to manufacture excavators and dump trucks
2011 Komatsu-no-Mori opened to house Komatsu Way Global Institute for human resource development opened at former Komatsu Plant
2014 developed hydraulic excavator with machine control system
2017 became full-line manufacturer of mining equipment with acquisition of Joy Global
2018 established Komatsu Customer Support Japan Ltd. to improve customer satisfaction
2020 launched SMARTCONSTRUCTION Digital Transformation to accelerate digital efforts
2021 reached 100-year milestone ￼