Kobe Steel, Ltd. and its subsidiary
Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. plan to turn the crane operation at
Kobelco Construction Machinery into a 100% owned subsidiary of Kobe Steel. The
new company will be called Kobelco Cranes Co., Ltd.
Kobelco Construction Machinery, centered on the excavator business, and Kobelco
Cranes will each operate as independent businesses. Separating the crane segment
will speed up decision-making and implementation as well as promote globalization
of the business. Creating a management system responsive to changing business
conditions and specific to the industry is anticipated to increase profitability
and corporate value.
Plans call for Kobelco Cranes to be established on April 1, 2004. The new company
will carry on the manufacturing and sale of crawler cranes, rough terrain cranes,
civil engineering machines, work vessels and other machines. To be based in
Tokyo, Kobelco Cranes will be capitalized at 12 billion yen, which will include
additional paid-in capital, and employ 270 people. The president will be Takashi
Kobelco Cranes will be a world center for crawler crane technology. The new
company plans to develop global products and meet regional needs as it aims
to become the world¡Çs top crawler crane manufacturer.
In Japan's construction crane market, the total value of crane shipments is
anticipated to rise in the year ending March 2004, the first increase in seven
years. Overseas, sales in the Americas and Europe are high, and Kobelco is maintaining
the same level of sales as the previous year in these markets.
To enlarge its sales and profits in the crane business, Kobelco Construction
Machinery formed an OEM agreement last year to supply the Manitowoc Crane Group
of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. with a range of crawler cranes for the American
market from fiscal 2004. Manitowoc is one of the world's largest providers of
Both Kobelco Construction Machinery and Kobelco Cranes will operate as independent
businesses with each company having its own decision-making criteria. Plans
also call for the formation of a management council for the two companies, which
will enable the Kobe Steel Group to benefit from the synergy derived from the
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