View all items from this company in our collection...
Hitachi was founded in 1910 by electrical engineer Namihei Odaira. The company's first product was Japan's first 5-horsepower electric induction motor, initially developed for use in copper mining. Odaira's company soon became the domestic leader in electric motors and electric power industry infrastructure.
The company began as an in-house venture of Fusanosuke Kuhara's mining company in Hitachi, Ibaraki prefecture. Odaira moved headquarters to Tokyo in 1918. Long before that, he coined the company's toponymic name by superimposing two kanji characters: hi meaning “sun” and tachi meaning “rise”. The young company's national aspirations were conveyed by its original brand mark, which evoked Japan's imperial rising sun flag.
Hitachi America, Ltd. was established in 1959. Hitachi Europe, Ltd. was established in 1982.
In March 2011, Hitachi agreed to sell its hard disk drive subsidiary, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, to Western Digital for a combination of cash and shares worth US$4.3 billion. Due to concerns of a duopoly of WD and Seagate by the EU Commission and the FTC, Hitachi's 3.5" HDD division was sold to Toshiba. The transaction was completed in March 2012.
Hitachi entered talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in August 2011 about a potential merger of the two companies, in what would have been the largest merger between two Japanese companies in history. The talks subsequently broke down and were suspended.
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.
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. The joint venture is planned to begin operations in 2014.