Hitachi, Ltd. (株式会社日立製作所, Kabushiki gaisha Hitachi Seisaku-sho, lit. "Share Company Hitachi Manufacturing Plant" or "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, Ltd.
Native name
Kabushiki gaisha Hitachi Seisaku-sho
lit. "Share Company Hitachi Manufacturing Plant"
Public KK
Traded as
Founded1910; 110 years ago (1910)
Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan
FounderNamihei Odaira
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease ¥9.480 trillion (2019)[3]
Decrease ¥516.5 billion (2019)[3]
Decrease ¥321.0 billion (2019)[3]
Total assetsDecrease ¥9.626 trillion (2019)[3]
Total equityIncrease ¥3.262 trillion (2019)[3]
Number of employees
Decrease 295,941 (2019)[4]

Hitachi is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Nagoya Stock Exchange and its Tokyo listing is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX Core30 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 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, the largest corporate loss in Japanese history. 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 the 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]

In September 2020, Hitachi pulled the plug on plans to create nuclear power plants in Gloucestershire and Wales due to issues with funding due to the impact of COVID-19.[51][52]

Products and servicesEdit

Automotive systemsEdit

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Offices, Farmington Hills, Michigan
  • Car Information Systems
  • Drive Control
  • Electric Powertrain Systems
  • Engine Management Systems

Construction machineryEdit

A Hitachi hydraulic excavator in use
  • Hydraulic Excavators
  • Forestry Equipment
  • Mechanical & Hydraulic Cranes
  • Mining Dump Trucks
  • Crawler Dump trucks
  • Wheel Loaders

Defense systemsEdit

Digital media and consumer productsEdit

2008 Hitachi air conditioning outdoor unit
The Magic Wand vibrating massager

Electronic systems and equipmentEdit

Financial servicesEdit

  • Leasing
  • Loan guarantees
  • Invoice finance (via the Hitachi Capital arm of the business)
  • Consumer finance (personal and retail)
  • Business finance

Advanced materialsEdit

  • Specialty steels
  • Wires and cables

Information and telecommunication systemsEdit

The Hitachi factory in Toyokawa, Japan

Power systemsEdit

Social infrastructure and industrial systemsEdit

Hitachi's G1TOWER, currently the world's tallest elevator research tower,[60] located at Hitachinaka, Ibaraki



Hitachi VantaraEdit

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 MetalEdit

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. Among the Hitachi Metals facilities, there is Hitachi Metal Yasugi Works or Tatara Works, one of the oldest furnaces in Japan, famously featured as a main backdrop in Princess Mononoke, a Japanese animation film set in the Muromachi period.

As of September 2020, Hitachi Metals is set to be divested as part of the long-term restructuring plan being executed by the Hitachi Group.[61]

Hitachi RailEdit

A British Rail Class 395 train produced by Hitachi

Hitachi Rail is the rolling stock manufacturing division of Hitachi.[62]

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.[63] Hitachi's products have included the designing and manufacturing of many Shinkansen models, including the N700 Series Shinkansen.[63]

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[64] The purchase was completed later that year,[65] at which point the company was renamed as Hitachi Rail Italy. Since then, Hitachi has obtained a majority stake in Ansaldo STS.[66]

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.[67]

Hitachi WorksEdit

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 subsidiariesEdit

  • Hitachi Digital Media Group - Selling electronic products including video projectors under its brand name.
  • Hitachi Plant Technologies - Engaging in the design, development, manufacture, sale, servicing, and execution of social and industrial infrastructure machinery, mechatronics, air-conditioning systems, industrial plants, and energy plant equipment in Asia and internationally.
  • Hitachi Communication Technologies America - Providing communications products and services for the telecommunications, cable TV, utility, enterprise, industrial and other markets.[68]
  • Hitachi Solutions America - A consulting firm and systems integrator focusing primarily on Microsoft Dynamics.[citation needed] Hitachi Solutions America acquired Ignify, a Microsoft Dynamics Solution provider, in December 2015.[69]

Discontinued or divested businessesEdit

Corporate social responsibilityEdit

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).[79]

See alsoEdit


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  9. ^ III, Kenneth E. Hendrickson (2014-11-25). The Encyclopedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780810888883.
  10. ^ Jr, Alfred D. Chandler; Hikino, Takashi; Nordenflycht, Andrew Von (2005). Inventing the Electronic Century. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674018051.
  11. ^ "History (1910–1959) : Hitachi Global". 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
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External linksEdit

  1. ^ Official supplier, Optimus Medica. "Ultrasound machines Hitachi in Kazakhstan".