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Contractors World International
2012 Vol 3 No 5
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Hitachi has no reverse gear! Page 2 of 4 >>>

Paul Burger, General Manager,

“. . . we are still responsible for our own decisions.”

Paul Burger, General Manager,
Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe)

The beginning of a new era

With the cessation of the JV with Fiat, HCM set about strengthening the image of the Hitachi brand which had won much acclaim, especially in the mining industry, for performance and reliability. In fact, I believe that the Hitachi mining shovels set the standard which all other manufacturers strove to keep up with.

In 2002, with a new opportunity arising from being given independence, the company began to introduce to the European markets the award winning ZAXIS series of ‘e-excavators’.

Wheel loaders quickly followed as a result of machines developed jointly with TCM Corporation and Furukawa. The EX8000, one of the world’s largest hydraulic excavators was launched in 2004 since which time new models and new class size machines have been steadily introduced.

At Intermat, Hitachi gave a glimpse of where the future might lie with a prototype hybrid excavator - together with the latest models. (Click here to read report ONE and TWO )

I asked to what extent is HCM a separate entity as the Hitachi Group is a very larger organisation?

“It is a completely different activity and we see this when we have meetings at a very large office in Maidenhead. We have a very active CEO who is the former UK ambassador to Japan and he is always organising events where we all come together and exchange views. It is at these that you quickly realize just how different from the rest we are.“

Paul went on explain how the relationship has changed. “Until the mid 1990s, we were very much a separate entity left to manage itself which in some respects gave us too much independence. At this time, if we used components manufactured by Hitachi that would be by coincidence.

“But since the mid-late 1990s, we started working together much more. An example of this is in the area of rigid mining dump trucks where we have two models that have an AC drive system. This was produced by GE or Seimens but we are now using a Hitachi Limiter AC drive system that is the same as that used on the bullet trains - not that our mining trucks can travel at 200 km/h!

“So today we have more and more synergy. Because of my involvement with CECE, I use the Brussels office quite a lot so can involve myself more in the wider Hitachi. We have the benefit of a lobbyist for the EU. I can use Hitachi for finance, corporate support and they can be very active in certain campaigns.

“However, at the end of the day, none of this is forced upon us. We are still responsible for our own decisions.”

John Deere relationship as strong as everJohn Deere relationship as strong as ever

Paul Burger said of the arrangements with John Deere in North America, “We have a very good relationship. The contract was signed in 1988 making it the longest lasting relationship. It has gone very well and is based on very good cooperation. In fact, HCM has just started to build a factory in Brazil together with John Deere

“Under the agreement, Hitachi sell based machines and technology to John Deere and models are branded as John Deere up to and including 90 ton machines - larger and mining equipment is branded Hitachi”

Hitachi sales, marketing, and many product-support activities in the Americas are managed by the Construction & Forestry Division of John Deere. Hitachi excavators are distributed and sold throughout the U.S. and Canada through a large number of dealership locations.

Deere and Hitachi produce excavators at their Kernersville, North Carolina, factory — a 50/50 joint venture established in 1988. The Hitachi models produced there are the ZX200LC-3, ZX240LC-3, ZX270LC-3, and ZX350LC-3 units.

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Page updated: June 2012



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