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Hitachi restructures for American mining

Ends JV with Deere, focuses on technologies and relationships Metal Tech News – March 9, 2022

With its sights set on supporting North and South America's mining sectors with a growing line of equipment and technological innovations, Hitachi has broken ties with John Deere and launched Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc.

Hitachi and Deere have been working together since the 1960s and officially forged a partnership to build and distribute excavators in the United States during 1988. This joint venture, which brought together Hitachi Construction Machinery's superior hydraulic systems and John Deere's well-established distribution network, helped to make Hitachi excavators a job site name in the construction and mining sectors.

Over the 33 years since the partnership was struck between the renowned Japanese manufacturer and the American farm equipment icon, the Hitachi-Deere JV expanded its network into Brazil and Canada.

This network and the relationships established over the past three decades serve as the foundation for Hitachi to independently grow its sales and service network in the Americas.

"As HCMA takes over control of equipment sales, service and support moving forward, we are preparing to launch new machines and new technologies while focusing on having a more direct relationship with our customers and dealers," said Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas CEO Alan Quinn. "To support those efforts, we are developing a team to specifically support the mining industry, developing relationships with dealers that support the mining industry and operating a 400,000-square-foot parts distribution center in Newnan, Georgia."

In addition to excavators that range from mini diggers that can nimbly carry out work in tight spaces to behemoth shovels that can scoop up nearly 60 yards of rock at a time, Hitachi manufactures loaders and haul trucks for the construction and mining industries.

Following its March 28 breakaway from Deere, HCMA has a network of 15 dealers – seven in North America and eight across Latin America – to support mining operations. Quinn says HCMA will build upon this network to elevate the Hitachi brand in the Americas to match its reputation around the world.

At the same time, HCMA plans to introduce new machinery and technology for the mining industry.

"HCM is committed to product development, so our future mining equipment aligns with the priorities of mining companies," said Quinn. "For example, our team is working on battery-powered haul truck technology that will help reduce equipment exhaust emissions while still delivering similar productivity."

In addition to electric haul trucks that are expected to feature award-winning vehicle stabilization innovations developed by its engineers, Hitachi has several new technologies on the horizon that are aimed at improving the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of mining operations in the America's and around the globe.

This includes lowering the emissions of its excavators with a hybrid power system and a new version of its famed hydraulic system that improves fuel economy by delivering the right amount of power to the machines moving at the right time.

"We understand mines are more environmentally conscious, and we are developing technology to support a more sustainable industry," Quinn added.

In the near future, ultra-large autonomous Hitachi hydraulic excavators and dump trucks will be able to communicate with each other and exchange information with the rest of the machinery to realize autonomous operation and improve safety and productivity at mining sites.

Hitachi says its breakaway from John Deere offers a little more freedom to integrate all the technological innovations its team has to offer in the mining and construction equipment the company will be introducing to American markets under Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas

"We get to make sure that all the equipment we sell has all of the technology available at Hitachi today," he said. "So we're going to differentiate the products that we bring by incorporating everything that we have to offer."

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

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With more than 16 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.


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