John Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery are celebrating more than three decades of their longstanding joint venture, the Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery Corporation. Utilizing united manufacturing facilities and integrated marketing and parts distribution, John Deere and Hitachi are providing more value to customers by producing high-quality products backed by a robust dealer network. Since the start of operations as a joint venture in 1988, Deere-Hitachi has manufactured over 55,000 hydraulic excavators for the North, Central and South American markets.
“The 30-year Deere-Hitachi partnership is unlike any other joint venture in the industry, and is a testament to the longstanding mutual respect and dedication of our teams,” said Jon Chase, president of Deere-Hitachi. “Combining the strength of Hitachi’s world-leading hydraulic excavator technology with the resources and might of the 180-year-old John Deere brand, the alliance produces excavators for the world’s best customers.”
As a result of a relationship dating back to the 1960s, Hitachi Construction Machinery and Deere & Company collaborated to reach an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supply agreement in 1983 for the manufacturing of construction excavators. Since then, three joint venture companies with respective manufacturing facilities were established: Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery Corporation in Kernersville, N.C. in 1988; Deere-Hitachi Specialty Products (DHSP) in Langley, British Columbia, Canada in 1998; and Deere-Hitachi Máquinas de Construção do Brasil S.A. (DHB) in Indaiatuba, São Paulo, Brazil in 2011.
The 1 million sq ft Deere-Hitachi manufacturing facility in Kernersville, N.C. brings together the latest in technological innovation and a skilled workforce of over 800 employees to produce best-in-class 13- to 47-metric ton excavator models. The state-of-the-art facility uses high quality materials, advanced welding robotics, CNC machining centers, plasma plate-cutting machines and cranes capable of transporting as much as 25 tons. A lean manufacturing system combined with a thorough quality assurance process enables the facility to produce made-to-order machines with a quick time to market.
Elsewhere in the Americas, the Canada and Brazil facilities specialize in producing equipment that meets regional customer needs. Established in 1998, Deere-Hitachi Specialty Products in Langley, British Columbia, was the first in the industry to manufacture purpose-built forestry excavators, with a focus on 26- to 46-metric ton forestry swing machines. Serving Latin and Central America, Deere-Hitachi Brazil produces 13- to 35-metric ton excavator models.
John Deere and Hitachi integrated marketing operations in 2002 in the Americas to streamline decision making and improve customer service, supporting construction and forestry equipment, as well as Hitachi’s mining equipment. To improve parts fill and respond to urgent customer needs, John Deere and Hitachi use a comprehensive parts distribution system via a network of regional parts depots. To better serve Latin American countries, John Deere and Hitachi recently opened a new 115,000 sq ft regional parts distribution center in Miami, Florida.
John Deere and Hitachi commemorated the anniversary on May 19, 2018 with an employee and parent company celebration day. Over 1,500 attendees including employees, family members and guests participated in the event. As part of the celebration, the recently restored, first production excavator will be unveiled to the employees and guests.