[WORLDKINGS] Top 100 companies over-100 years and still in business – P39 – Hitachi, Ltd. (Japan): The journey 110 years of the Japanese multinational conglomerate company


(WorldKings.org) Since its founding in 1910, Hitachi has supported the development of society and the improvement of people's lives. It is one of the largest manufacturer of electrical machinery and a leading producer of semiconductors in Japan.

Hitachi, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is the parent company of the Hitachi Group (Hitachi Gurūpu) and formed part of the Nissan zaibatsu and later DKB Group of companies before DKB merged into the Mizuho Financial Group.



Hitachi was founded in 1910 by electrical engineer Namihei Odaira in Ibaraki Prefecture. The company's first product was Japan's first 4-kilowatt (5 hp) induction motor, initially developed for use in copper mining.

The company began as an in-house venture of Fusanosuke Kuhara's mining company in Hitachi, Ibaraki. Odaira moved headquarters to Tokyo in 1918. Odaira coined the company's toponymic name by superimposing two kanji characters: hi meaning "sun" and tachi meaning "rise".



In the 1920s Hitachi expanded its operations to meet the growing demand of Japan's burgeoning industrial economy. Through the acquisition of other companies, Hitachi became the nation's largest manufacturer of pumps, blowers, and other mechanical equipment.

The company also became involved in metal working and began manufacturing copper cable and rolling stock. These developments served to consolidate Hitachi's ability to build and supply a major manufacturer without outside help. In 1924 it also built Japan's first electric locomotive.



World War II had a significant impact on the company with many of its factories being destroyed by Allied bombing raids, and discord after the war. Founder Odaira was removed from the company and Hitachi Zosen Corporation was spun out. Hitachi's reconstruction efforts after the war were hindered by a labor strike in 1950. Meanwhile, Hitachi went public in 1949.



In the 1960s the firm began marketing consumer goods, introducing its own brand of household appliances and entertainment equipment. Perhaps Hitachi's most important decision, however, was investing in computer research. In 1957 Hitachi built its first computer and entered into the high-tech age. During the 1960s Hitachi developed Japan's first on-line computer system, and emerged as the world's largest producer of analog computers.



Today, the conglomerate's roster of over 20,000 products runs the gamut from the smallest, most powerful computer memory chips to massive nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, but its most familiar lines are consumer electronics. Often called the General Electric of Japan, Hitachi is one of the world's largest conglomerates.

According to en.wikipedia and referenceforbusiness.com

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