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Construction Equipment Manufacturer Komatsu Overview

Construction Equipment Manufacturer Komatsu Overview

Posted by Mike P. on Jul 2nd 2022

While Caterpillar currently takes and exceeds its competitors in size and annual sales to the point of no contest, there are still many other construction giants in the industry. Today we will be giving a brief overview of another one of the construction industry’s giants which saw inception and which has been in business for over a century providing heavy construction parts and vehicles manufacturing all of its own stock and distributing its machines all over across the globe. The heavy construction company in question is known as none other than Komatsu limited. 

Let's learn more about this extraordinarily sized Construction Giant: Komatsu 

Komatsu, formerly known as Komatsu Iron Works, found its footing under its parent company known at the time as Takeuchi Mining. Komatsu was founded to become the sole manufacturer of mining tools and equipment for its parent company at that time. Komatsu then found itself rebranded into what we know today as Komatsu Limited after reaching a substantial size and generating a formidable manufacturing force for the industry in question. 

At this time, in 1921, Komatsu Limited had become its own construction industry giant within its nation's borders, having been recognized as a great source to get industrial utilities and tools. 

Komatsu History 

The industrial company itself would first find its success in the agricultural industry with the manufacturing of its very first tractor by 1931. Komatsu increased in production scale across the board during the first years of the first world war. Komatsu was a source for manufacturing pieces of equipment and vehicles for the Japanese military during these times. Komatsu also during the world war was given the tasks of manufacturing an extensive selection of equipment that went on to include tanks, dozers, and howitzers to name a few. 

During the end of the world war, Komatsu Limited found itself producing and manufacturing vehicles for non-military use. 

Further on down the timeline a few more decades and Komatsu Limited began its pistol creation of the first diesel engine to be used for industrial purposes, the year being 1949. After the first world war, the construction industry and all other verticals that fall under that umbrella were in supremely high demand, this era can be referenced as the industrial boom post the first world war. Komatsu found great success in this era as its manufacturing quickly became recognized as one of the best and even at one point the greatest source of industrial equipment for all industries. 

During this decade, the 1950’s Komatsu limited officially stationed its headquarters in the capital of Japan itself, in what is present-day Tokyo. 

Following the accumulation of catastrophic events that are known as world war II, Komatsu Limited found itself under a new branch of leadership. The successor to this company at this point was Rioichi Kawai, the son of the previous line of leadership. In this era of Komatsu, they sought to rebrand themselves hoping to create a new image of Japanese manufacturing and to better relations overseas as much as possible following the nation's involvement during the world war. 

The company began to call itself “Maru-C” in other words “Encircle Caterpillar” one of their biggest competitors at the time and still to this day they follow behind the construction behemoth at a clean second for the world's largest equipment manufacturing company source. This was a statement to its formidable opponent as at the time in Japan this is a reference to a popular board game known as GO. The term “Encircle Caterpillar” was essential as a professional means of declaring their rivalry as the term goes on to illustrate the game-winning strategy of surrounding the opponent and assets. 

Komatsu Expansion 

In one of the most important eras of the industrial giant's lifespan, the 1970s, the heavy equipment manufacturer began its expansion overseas to the west to tackle the American market. Komatsu first opened up its official American branch in February 1970 in the US. Komatsu then moved its corporate expansion towards Singapore later in 1971. Afterwhich in April 1975, Komatsu began stationing in Brazil, It was this specific branch in Brazil that first manufactured what is referred to as the Komatsu D50A. This branch became the first to be recognized as an offshore heavy construction equipment manufacturer that wasn't back in its home country. Komatsu then sought to build its presence in Australia back in 1979. 

Further down the timeline, Komatsu focused on the manufacturing of agricultural heavy vehicles in America. Komatsu made a joint venture with the International harvester under the handle of KIMCO. After just one More year Komatsu then opened up a new branch, scaling its overseas expansion to an almost global level with the opening of its Indonesian Headquarters in 1983. 

All the way up to the modern-day Komatsu continued to heavily focus on expanding new assets in different countries allowing it to finally be recognized as a significant global manufacturer of heavy equipment vehicles, tools, and parts. Komatsu would go on to use the resources of the assets acquired to further the development of their products more specifically their functional vehicles to ensure they were providing not only the mining, and agricultural industry with pristine quality equipment but also the construction industry with innovations that boosted the standard for equipment like bulldozers and excavators ten fold. 

Komatsu in its present-day position places second on the list of the world's largest equipment manufacturing companies coming in a close second behind the behemoth, Caterpillar. While Komatsu’s initial goal was to take Caterpillar's industry-leading crown, the strides and strategic placements of their headquarters around the globe efficiently boosted them to become one of the most reliable and efficient sources for all manufactured equipment. 

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