Two of the most popular excavator brands are Komatsu and Caterpillar. In this article we want to tell you a brief history of both of those brands.
Komatsu Ltd. (Kabushiki-gaisha Komatsu Seisakusho) is a Japanese multinational corporation that manufactures construction, mining, forestry and military equipment, as well as diesel engines and industrial equipment like press machines, lasers and thermoelectric generators. Its headquarters are in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The corporation was named after the city of Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture, where the company was founded in 1921. Worldwide, the Komatsu Group consists of Komatsu Ltd. and 258 other companies (215 consolidated subsidiaries and 42 companies accounted for by the equity method).
Komatsu is the world’s second largest manufacturer of construction equipment and mining equipment after Caterpillar. However, in some areas (Japan, China), Komatsu has a larger share than Caterpillar. It has manufacturing operations in Japan, Asia, Americas and Europe.
Japanese 小松 ko-matsu means “small pine tree”, named after Komatsu city in Ishikawa prefecture.
Komatsu produced its first agricultural tractor prototype in 1931. Through the 1930s, Komatsu also produced tractors for the Japanese military, as well as bulldozers, tanks and howitzers. After World War II, under its new president Yoshinari Kawai, Komatsu added non-military bulldozers and forklifts to its line of equipment. In 1949 it began production of its first diesel engine. Its growth as a company was aided by the strong demand for its bulldozers during Japan’s post-war reconstruction in the 1950s. In August 1951 the corporate headquarters were moved to Tokyo. By 1957 the company had advanced technologically to the point that all its models were using Komatsu engines.
Expansion overseas was a major focus in the 1970s, with Komatsu America Corporation being established in February 1970 in the United States. A year later, in January 1971, Komatsu Singapore Pte. Ltd. was established in Singapore. September 1974 saw the founding of Dina Komatsu Nacional S.A. de C.V., a joint venture with truck maker DINA S.A. in Mexico. April 1975 was the founding Komatsu do Brasil Ltda. in Brazil. This company produced the Komatsu D50A bulldozer, marking Komatsu’s first offshore production of construction equipment. Komatsu Australia Pty., Ltd. in Australia was established in Feb. 1979.
Few of Komatsu products:
- Komatsu PC210 LC excavator
- Komatsu PC138 US
- Bulldozer Komatsu D85 PX
- Komatsu HM300 Articulated Dump Truck
Caterpillar Inc. (often shortened to CAT) is an American Fortune 100 corporation which designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, markets, and sells machinery, engines, financial products, and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. It is the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer.
Caterpillar Inc. traces its origins to the 1925 merger of the Holt Manufacturing Companyand the C. L. Best Tractor Company, creating a new entity, the California-based Caterpillar Tractor Company. In 1986, the company reorganized itself as a Delaware corporation under the current name, Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar’s headquarters are located in Deerfield, Illinois; it announced in January 2017 that over the course of that year it would relocate its headquarters from Peoria, Illinois, to Deerfield, Illinois, scrapping plans from 2015 of building an $800 million new headquarters complex in downtown Peoria.
Caterpillar sells the right to manufacture, market, and sell products bearing the Cat trademark to licensees worldwide. Wolverine World Wide is one example, a licensee since 1994 and currently the sole company licensed to produce Cat branded footwear.