The joint venture between John Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery has officially ended, and the two OEMs now offer some competing products in America.
For the foreseeable future, Hitachi will supply Deere with complete excavators, components and parts under a new OEM supply agreement.
Since announcing the end of the joint venture in August 2021, both companies have implemented significant changes.
Hitachi has reorganized its independent sales and service network in anticipation of beginning sales and service on March 1, 2022.
Hitachi Construction Loaders America, which was responsible for manufacturing and selling Hitachi brand wheel loaders in North America, has been renamed Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas (HCMA).
Sonosuke Ishii, senior vice president and executive director and president of the mining group, has taken over as head of the Americas division and president and director of HCMA.
John Deere acquired full ownership of three factories in the Deere-Hitachi joint venture and entered into new licensing and supply agreements with Hitachi Construction Machinery. The factories, located in the United States, Brazil and Canada, will continue to produce Deere-branded construction excavators and forestry equipment and will discontinue production of Hitachi-branded products.
Hitachi Construction Machinery is under new controlling ownership after Hitachi sold 26 percent of its stake - valued at $1.6 billion - to Japanese trading company Itochu and private equity firm Japan International Partners. Hitachi's stake is now 25.4%, while Itochu and JIP jointly own a 26% controlling interest.
In a statement to International Construction magazine regarding future opportunities, Hitachi commented that "HCM intends to strive for sufficient returns for investors by developing its business strategy, improving corporate performance, and realizing medium- to long-term corporate growth and higher corporate value."
"Therefore, HCM intends to use this as an opportunity to further accelerate its business strategy. By strengthening our partnership with Itochu Corporation, we hope to utilize its global network, abundant experience and resources to support the early launch and subsequent enhancement of our North American operations following the dissolution of the joint venture with Deere."
Hitachi noted that the rental channel is "very important" and added that there is no decision yet on how Multiquip, owned by Itochu, might be used as a sales channel for Hitachi machines.