At Resolute Equipment, we work with some of the finest brands in construction and mining equipment, including Komatsu, Caterpillar, Hitachi, Mack, Leibherr, McClosekey and Esco. To better understand how these companies have established themselves as competitors on a global stage, we’re dedicating a series of blogs to exploring their stories. This week, we’re starting with Komatsu a Japanese mining and construction equipment manufacturer with a history almost 100 years old.
In the beginning
Komatsu was first founded in 1917. Meaning ‘small pine tree’, Komatsu is a city in the Ishikawa prefecture, Japan, where the company was first established. A subsidiary of Takeuchi Mining Industry, Komatsu Iron Works was launched to develop industrial tools for its parent company. In 1921, Komatsu grew large enough to sell to the public, emerging as the company we know today.
Building its reputation in the industry
In 1931, Komatsu developed its first agricultural tractor prototype, setting a trend for a long history of industrial machinery manufacturing to follow. Throughout the 1930s, the company produced military tractors for the Japanese army, and continued to build its line of bulldozers, tanks and forklifts. In 1949, it began producing diesel-engine machinery, and strong demand for Komatsu products was buoyed by rebuilding efforts post-WWII.
Moving into the global arena
In 1964, Komatsu began to export its products to an international market. In 1967, it entered the US and became a competitor against the world’s largest bulldozer maker, Caterpillar. The company adopted the slogan ‘Maru-C’, which in English translates to ‘encircle Caterpillar’. This refers to the act of encircling prey to capture his territory.