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Hitachi, Ltd.
Native name
Romanized name
Kabushiki gaisha Hitachi Seisaku-sho
lit. "Share Company Hitachi Manufacturing Plant"
Public KK
Traded as TYO: 6501
Nikkei 225 component
TOPIX Core30 component
ISIN JP3788600009  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Industry Conglomerate
Founded1910;110 years ago (1910)
Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan
Founder Namihei Odaira
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease2.svg ¥9.480 trillion (2019) [3]
Decrease2.svg¥516.5 billion (2019) [3]
Decrease2.svg¥321.0 billion (2019) [3]
Total assets Decrease2.svg¥9.626 trillion (2019) [3]
Total equity Increase2.svg¥3.262 trillion (2019) [3]
Number of employees
Decrease2.svg 295,941 (2019) [4]

Hitachi, Ltd. (株式会社日立製作所, Kabushiki gaisha Hitachi Seisaku-sho, lit. "Hitachi Works Corporation") (Japanese pronunciation:  [çi̥taꜜtɕi] ) 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. As of April 2019, Hitachi operates ten business segments, ranging from IT, including AI and big data, to Construction Machinery. [5] [6]


Hitachi is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices. It is ranked 38th in the 2012 Fortune Global 500 and 129th in the 2012 Forbes Global 2000. [7]


Former Hitachi logo (1968-1992). The icon on the left is still used by Hitachi Rail and its subsidiaries, as well as the favicon. Hitachi old logo2.gif
Former Hitachi logo (1968–1992). The icon on the left is still used by Hitachi Rail and its subsidiaries, as well as the favicon.

Hitachi was founded in 1910 by electrical engineer Namihei Odaira in Ibaraki Prefecture. [8] [9] [10] The company's first product was Japan's first 4-kilowatt (5 hp) induction motor, initially developed for use in copper mining. [11] [ citation needed ]

The company began as an in-house venture of Fusanosuke Kuhara's mining company in Hitachi, Ibaraki. Odaira moved headquarters to Tokyo in 1918. [12] Odaira coined the company's toponymic name by superimposing two kanji characters: hi meaning "sun" and tachi meaning "rise". [13]

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[ citation needed ] 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. [14]

Hitachi America, Ltd. was established in 1959. [15] Hitachi Europe, Ltd. was established in 1982. [16]

From 2006 to 2010, Hitachi lost US$12.5 billion. This prompted Hitachi to restructure and sell a number of divisions and businesses, a process that is expected to finish in 2021. [17] [18] [19] [20]

In March 2011, Hitachi agreed to sell its hard disk drive subsidiary, HGST, to Western Digital for a combination of cash and shares worth US$4.3 billion. [21] Due to concerns of a duopoly of WD and Seagate Technology by the EU Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, Hitachi's 3.5" HDD division was sold to Toshiba. The transaction was completed in March 2012. [22]

In January 2012, Hitachi announced it would stop producing televisions in Japan. [23] In September 2012, Hitachi announced that it had invented a long-term data solution out of quartz glass that was capable of preserving information for millions of years. [24] In October 2012, Hitachi agreed to acquire the United Kingdom-based nuclear energy company Horizon Nuclear Power, which plans to construct up to six nuclear power plants in the UK, from E.ON and RWE for £700 million. [25] [26] In November 2012, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries agreed to merge their thermal power generation businesses into a joint venture to be owned 65% by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and 35% by Hitachi. [27] [28] The joint venture began operations in February 2014. [29]

In October 2015, Hitachi completed a deal with Johnson Controls to form a joint-venture that would takeover Hitachi's HVAC business. Hitachi maintained a 40% stake of the resulting company, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning. [30] In May 2016, Hitachi announced it was investing $2.8 billion into its IoT interests. [31]

Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 and the extended temporary closure of most Japanese nuclear plants, Hitachi's nuclear business became unprofitable and in 2016 Hitachi CEO Toshiaki Higashihara argued Japan should consider a merger of the various competing nuclear businesses. [32] Hitachi is taking for 2016 an estimated ¥65 billion write-off in value of a SILEX technology laser uranium enrichment joint venture with General Electric. [33] [34]

In February 2017, Hitachi and Honda announced a partnership to develop, produce and sell motors for electric vehicles. [35] On March 14, 2018, Zoomdata announced its partnership with Hitachi INS Software to help develop big data analytics market in Japan. [36]

In December 2018, Hitachi Ltd. announced it would take over ABB Ltd.'s power grid division for $6.4 billion. [37] Also in 2017, private equity firm KKR bought Hitachi Kokusai's (itself a subsidiary of Hitachi) semiconductor equipment division, becoming Kokusai Electric. In 2019, Applied Materials announced that it would acquire Kokusai Electric from KKR for US$2.2 billion. [38] [39] [40] [41]

From 2008 to 2018, Hitachi has reduced the number of its listed group companies and consolidated subdiaries in Japan from 22 to 4 and around 400 to 202, respectively, through restructuring and sell-offs. It planned to become a company specialized in IT and infrastructure maintenance in near future. [42]

In 2019, Hitachi sold its medical imaging business to Fujifilm for US$1.7 billion. Showa Denko bought Hitachi Chemical from Hitachi and other shareholders, at US$42.97 per share. Until then, Hitachi Chemical had been considered to be a core unit of the group. [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] Hitachi also suspended the ABWR development by its British subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power as it did not provide an adequate "economic rationality as a private enterprise" to proceed. [48]

In October the same year, Honda was reported to be in talks with Hitachi to merge the two companies' car parts businesses, creating a components supplier with almost $17 billion in annual sales, the second largest among the Japanese car parts companies. Hitachi retained the control of the new company with a 67 percent stake. [49] [50]

Products and services

Automotive systems

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Offices, Farmington Hills, Michigan Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Offices Farmington Hills Michigan.JPG
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Offices, Farmington Hills, Michigan

Construction machinery

A Hitachi hydraulic excavator in use Hitachi ZX490LCH-6.jpg
A Hitachi hydraulic excavator in use

Defense systems

Digital media and consumer products

2008 Hitachi air conditioning outdoor unit 2008 Hitachi aircon outdoor unit RAM-5DNS.jpg
2008 Hitachi air conditioning outdoor unit
The Magic Wand vibrating massager Hitachi-magic-wand.jpg
The Magic Wand vibrating massager

Electronic systems and equipment

Financial services

Advanced materials

Information and telecommunication systems

The Hitachi factory in Toyokawa, Japan Hitachi, Ltd. (Toyokawa Factory).jpg
The Hitachi factory in Toyokawa, Japan

Power systems

Social infrastructure and industrial systems

Hitachi's G1TOWER, currently the world's tallest elevator research tower, located at Hitachinaka, Ibaraki G1TOWER Hitachi.jpg
Hitachi's G1TOWER, currently the world's tallest elevator research tower, located at Hitachinaka, Ibaraki



Hitachi Vantara

Hitachi Vantara is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi which provides hardware, software and services to help companies manage their digital data. Its flagship products are the Virtual Storage Platform (for enterprise storage), Hitachi Unified Storage VM for large sized companies, Hitachi Unified Storage for small and mid-sized companies, Hitachi Content Platform (archiving and cloud architecture), Hitachi Command Suite (for storage management), Hitachi TrueCopy and Hitachi Universal Replicator (for remote replication), and the Hitachi NAS Platform.

Since September 19, 2017, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has become part of Hitachi Vantara, a new company that unifies the operations of Pentaho, Hitachi Data Systems and Hitachi Insight Group. The company name "Hitachi Data Systems" (HDS) and its logo is no longer used in the market.

Hitachi Consulting, the international management and technology consulting subsidiary with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, was integrated with Hitachi Vantara in 2019.

Hitachi Metal

Among other things, Hitachi Metals supplies materials for aircraft engines and fuselage components (e.g. landing gear), along with finished components for same and other aerospace applications. It also provides materials, components and tools for the automotive and electronics industries.

Hitachi Rail

A British Rail Class 395 train produced by Hitachi Unit 395008 at Ebbsfleet International.JPG
A British Rail Class 395 train produced by Hitachi

Hitachi Rail is the rolling stock manufacturing division of Hitachi. [59]

The rail division delivered 120 CQ311 series railcars to MARTA from 1984 to 1988.

Hitachi markets a general-purpose train known as the "A-train", which uses double-skin, friction-stir-welded aluminium body construction. [60] Hitachi's products have included the designing and manufacturing of many Shinkansen models, including the N700 Series Shinkansen. [60]

On February 24, 2015, Hitachi agreed to purchase the Italian rolling stock manufacturer AnsaldoBreda and acquire Finmeccanica's stake in Ansaldo STS, the railway signaling division of Finmeccanica [61] The purchase was completed later that year, [62] at which point the company was renamed as Hitachi Rail Italy. Since then, Hitachi has obtained a majority stake in Ansaldo STS. [63]

Hitachi Monorail builds monorail systems with 10 built to date.

In July 2020, Hitachi signed an exclusive agreement with Hyperdrive, a UK-based lithium-ion battery company, to bring battery-powered trains to the country. [64]

Hitachi Works

Hitachi Works consists of three factories: Kaigan Works, Yamate Works, and Rinkai Works. Yamate Works, the oldest of the three factories, was founded in 1910 by Namihei Odaira as an electrical equipment repair and manufacturing facility. This facility was named Hitachi, after the Hitachi Mine near Hitachi, Ibaraki.[ citation needed ]

Spin-off entities from Hitachi Works include Hitachi Cable (1956) and Hitachi Canadian Industries (1988).[ citation needed ]

Other subsidiaries

Discontinued or divested businesses

Corporate social responsibility

In August 2011, it was announced that Hitachi would donate an electron microscope to each of five universities in Indonesia (the University of North Sumatra in Medan, the Indonesian Christian University in Jakarta, Padjadjaran University in Bandung, General Soedirman University in Purwokerto and Muhammadiyah University in Malang). [74]

See also

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