Case Study on Komatsu Limited

1578 Words Feb 23rd, 2013 7 Pages
I. Background of the Study

Komatsu had its origin 1894 when the Takeuchi Mining Company was founded. A major expansion occurred in 1917 when the Komatsu Iron Works was established to manufacture mining equipment and machine tools. The name Komatsu came into existence in 1921 when iron works separated from the mining company to become KOMATSU ltd. Despite a name that means “little pine tree”, Komatsu produces line up of big equipment. The company is the world’s second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, after Caterpillar Inc.

Komatsu is a diversified company engaged in manufacturing and selling of construction equipment, industrial machinery and vehicles. In addition, the company has interest in other business
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Its wide selection of products includes excavators, wheel loaders, diesel engines, boring machines and compact construction equipment. The company has operations in more than 100 countries, some 60 subsidiaries, and a sales network consisting of 4,000 dealers. Its Ansan Parts Center acts as a hub for global parts distribution. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, a Doosan Corp. subsidiary, holds a 39% stake in the company.

2. Employee
Komatsu had history of good labor relation. Statistics shown that from 1976 to 1981 labor productivity rose compared to Caterpillar. This high productivity labor force was absolutely one of the assets of Komatsu.

3. Managerial Philosophy/Leadership Style * As early as 1921, Mr. Takeuchi, founder of Komatsu stated his two management perspectives; “overseas orientation” and “user orientation”. * In 1963, when Mitsubishi-Cat joint venture entered Japan, Yashinari Kawai planned to make his company a competitor of world’s standard. He set the goals; acquisition of the necessary advanced technology from abroad and the improvement of product quality within the company. He and his son Ryoichi Kawai conducted negotiations with USSR and China and developed relations with high officials. * In mid-1980’s, where Caterpillar was on its unprofitable year, Chairman Ryoichi Kawai stated that Komatsu’s success today doesn’t mean success for tomorrow. He believes that a company must always be innovative.

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