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Komatsu's business model through the product lifecycle


  • Yoichi Matsumoto

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)


Komatsu Limited (hereinafter referred as Komatsu) is a major construction equipment manufacturer founded in 1921. Komatsu Iron Works, which manufactured mining machinery and machine tools for its parent company, Takeuchi Mining Industry, which was engaged in coal-mining and mining, spun off as Komatsu Limited in 1921. Before the World War II, Komatsu built the first tractor in Japan and was also engaged in the development of bulldozers at the request of the military authorities. When Caterpillar Inc. of the United States made inroads into the Japanese market in the 1960s, Komatsu intensively worked on quality improvement and received the Deming Prize in 1964. This is renowned as a successful example of Japanese manufacturers in the postwar period in Japan. Komatsu is one of the distinctive manufacturers in Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoichi Matsumoto, 2011. "Komatsu's business model through the product lifecycle," Discussion Paper Series DP2011-13, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2011-13

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