30 Oct. 2007|
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Makita traces its roots to 1915 and the founding of Makita Electric Works, an electric tool and equipment repair shop in Nagoya, Japan.
In 1958 the administration of President JuiroGoto directed the company to diversify by beginning to manufacture electric power tools. With their brushed metal casings, the company’s first tools looked heavy, bulky, and primitive by contemporary standards. Makita Electric Works is established in Nagoya, Japan, as a repair shop for electric tools and equipment. Under the administration of President JuiroGoto, Makita diversifies into the manufacture of electric power tools; a portable electric planer is the first such product.
The Maktec line of low-cost, made-in-China power tools is introduced into Asian markets outside of Japan. In January of 1958, Makita started selling portable electric planers, the first of its kind in Japan. By the late 1970s, the company had seized almost one-fifth of the worldwide professional tool market, nearly matching Black & Decker’s market share. Makita concentrated on professional tool users in the carpentry, timber, construction, and masonry trades with its powerful, durable equipment that frequently cost two to three times as much as a standard tool in the consumer market.
By the end of 1997, the company’s Chinese factory was pumping out over 100,000 power tools per month. The portable woodworking tools line includes nailers, routers, planers, saws, and other carpentry tools. In an effort to increase its proximity between products and customers, Makita manufactures its power tools and other products at plants in Germany, China, Canada, Brazil, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. By focusing on the high end of the power tool industry, Makita effectively managed price competition, thus significantly increasing profit margins. Luckily, the development of cordless rechargeable power tools ushered in an entire new area of growth.
In regards to product development, Makita introduced the world’s first cordless miter saw and also unveiled a line of 18-volt cordless power tools during 1999.
The company attributed their success in the domestic power tool market toresearch and development, a unique system of direct distribution and high quality construction. A number of new products debuted the following year including a circular saw with an attached dust collector and also the world’s first line of nickel hydride powered cordless tools.
Stationary woodworking machines, including band saws, planer-joiners, and table saws, contributed just over 1 percent of sales.
Eliminating the cord liberated the worker from the power source, but early cordless models struggled with a number of limitations. As Makita entered the consumer market, however, it had to be especially careful not to damage its relationship with their core clients of professional tool buyers. Mostly heavier and lacking the power of their corded predecessors, they had short running time, and required lengthy recharging times. Makita also unveiled two new lines of cordless tools powered by 12-volt and 14-volt battery systems in 1997. Though these drawbacks inhibited professionals from including cordless tools in their tool chests, they did appeal to the home handyman and their less demanding projects.
Consumer tools include blowers, brush cutters, chain saws, hedge trimmers, and heavy-duty and household vacuums. Breakthroughs in battery technology throughout the late 20th century increased power and running time while shortening recharging time.