A delegation of senior executives from Komatsu’s global headquarters in Japan visited Birtley, Gateshead earlier this week. They were there to celebrate the success of Komatsu UK Ltd, some 25 years after its official opening in 1987.
The main reason for Birtley being chosen as the site for mining and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu’s UK operations was the highly skilled local workforce available in the North East, and proximity to important sea trade routes from the nearby ports.
Setting up shop in the North East has proved beneficial for the company as a whole, and Komatsu UK has thrived here, according to to Mr Ohashi, director and senior executive officer of Komatsu Ltd.
Mr Ohashi thanked Gateshead Council and the UK Department for Trade and Investment, for the strong support they gave to Komatsu when first setting up the site.
Ohashi was welcomed by Peter Howe, Komatsu UK managing director and chairman of Komatsu Europe International. He commented: “We can all look back with pride at what Komatsu has achieved over the years. We will continue to invest not only in the Komatsu UK facility and our employees, but will also continue to support the local community.”
Leader of Gateshead Council, Mick Henry, said: “Over the past quarter of a century, Gateshead and Komatsu have developed a fantastic relationship. That relationship has become not only a major part of our economy but an important part of our community too.”
He went onto to say: “The combination of Komatsu’s international success and Gateshead’s highly skilled and dedicated workforce has proved to be a winning formula. I look forward to many more successful years.”
Over the last 25 years Komatsu UK has produced over 59,000 machines and has achieved a cumulative turnover over £3.8 billion, making an enormous contribution to the region’s economy. Over 400 are currently employed at the site.