Hitachi Ltd. (in Japanese: 株式会社 日立 製作 所, transliteration: Kabushiki-gaisha Hitachi Seisakusho, Hitachi Manufacturing Plant Stock Company) is a company based in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The company was founded in the early twentieth century in Hitachi, located in Ibaraki Prefecture, as an electrical equipment repair shop. Hitachi produces a wide variety of consumer electronics and provides products for other factories, such as integrated circuits and other semiconductors.
Hitachi was founded in 3 of January of 1910 as an electrical repair shop equipment. Today, it is one of the leading technology manufacturing companies.
In 1910, the Japanese Namihei Odaira started a shop for electronic parts to support a Japanese company in the copper mining industry. This sole proprietorship was the precursor of the current global Hitachi Group. The word Hitachi refers to the Japanese place Hitachi, but also to a Chinese character (kanji) that literally means sunrise, but also symbolizes the philosophy of using technology to offer added value to people and society.
Products and services
Hitachi divides its operations into seven industrial segments. These segments are listed below, along with their products and services offered by each.
Information Systems and Telecommunications
- Integration Systems
- Outsourcing Services
- Hard Drives - HGST (Belongs to Western Digital since 2011).
- Disk Array Subsystems
- PC equipment
- Telecommunications Team
- LCD screens
- Test and Measurement Equipment
- Medical equipment
Energy and Industrial Systems
- Railway equipment
- Nuclear, Thermal and Hydroelectric Plants
- Industrial Machinery and Plants
- Products for cars
- Construction Machinery
Digital Media and Consumer Products
- Optical Disk Devices
- Plasma, LCD and LED TVs
- Professional Broadcasting Television (Hitachi Kokusai)
- LCD projectors
- Mobile phones
- Air Conditioning (VRF and CHILLERS) - Hitachi Air Conditioning Europe SAS
- Washing machines
- Storage Media (Hitachi Data Systems)
- Air Conditioning Equipment (VRF and CHILLERS)
- Intelligent Air Conditioning Systems
- Video or photo cameras
The Hitachi Group is one of the world's largest companies with more than 20,000 products and more than 303,000 employees (2017). Hitachi's products and services can be subdivided into:
- Information & Telecommunication Systems (19%) for system integration, cloud services, servers, storage, software, telecommunication systems and ATMs, among other things.
- Social Infrastructure & Industrial Systems (21%) for industry & distribution solutions, water treatment solutions, industrial machinery, elevators, escalators, railway systems, nuclear power generation systems, renewable energy power generation systems and transmission & distribution systems.
- Electronic Systems & Equipment (10%) for, among other things, the production of semiconductors, test and measurement equipment, industrial products, medical equipment and tools.
- Construction Machinery (7%) for hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders and mining equipment, among others.
- High Functional Materials & Components (14%) for semiconductor & display related materials, printed circuit boards & materials, car parts, energy storage devices, specialty steels, magnetic materials & components, high grade casting components & materials, cable materials.
- Automotive Systems (9%) for engine management systems, electric drive systems, drive control systems and car information systems, among others.
- Smart Life & Eco-friendly Systems (6%) for refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, among others.
- Financial Services (3%) for, among other things, leasing and loan guarantees.
- Logistics & Other Services (11%) for logistics, optical disk drives and property management.
Hitachi has also focused on building train equipment. For example, it provides high-speed trains (Javelin) for domestic services on the British HSL in South East England. In February 2015 it was announced that the Italian company Finmeccanica will sell its 40% stake in Ansaldo STS and all shares of train manufacturer AnsaldoBreda to Hitachi. Hitachi pays 36 million euros for AnsaldoBreda and 773 million euros for Ansaldo STS. When this transaction is completed, Hitachi will make an offer for the remaining shares of Ansaldo STS that are listed on the stock exchange.
Until 2016, Hitachi Group supplied its products and services on a stand-alone basis to its customers from the various business units. The group took the helm in 2016 by dividing its customer base into market segments and offering the offer more integrated.
The Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM) head office for Europe, Africa and the Middle East is located in the Netherlands. In Oosterhout and Amsterdam there are factories where earth-moving machines are produced such as excavators, wheel loaders and dump trucks for the EMEA market. HCM's biggest competitors are companies such as Liebherr, JCB, Komatsu and Caterpillar.
Furthermore, Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Medical Systems, Hitachi Power Tools, Hitachi Transport Systems and Vantec World Transport are also based in the Netherlands.
In 1982, the company was discredited when the FBI accused them of stealing technology from the American company IBM. This case is also known as the Hitachi scandal.