makita 100 years


Makita, the global power tool manufacturer, celebrates 100 years of technical innovations in 2015.

Founded in 1915 as an electric motor specialist in Nagoya City, Japan, the first power tool manufactured in 1958 was a planer assembled for an established machine brand which almost immediately received some innovative design changes from the creative engineering skills of Makita’s founders. This led to the manufacture of machines to Makita’s own design and the brand and its pure engineering philosophy was established. Now, 100 years later, the same level of innovative research continues to design and produce machines that meet identified tasks in many industries, from construction to all sectors of manufacturing, as well as the rapidly growing outdoor power equipment range.

In the UK Makita is Britain’s number 1 professional power tool manufacturer and market leader. The UK subsidiary was established in 1972 making this the 43rd year in which British tradesmen and women have been supplied. The Telford production facility was established in 1992 and today produces more than 63,000 power tools every month, 80% of which are exported around the world. Telford today employs more than 300 staff.

Globally, Makita has established 15 manufacturing plants operating to ISO standards and produces a range in excess of 700 different machines for delivery through sales and distribution operations in more than 150 countries.

Since the creation of the Makita Electric Works in 1915 to sell and repair lighting equipment, electric motors and generators, there have been many successful milestones. Here are just a few that illustrate the growth of the brand over the last 100 years.

1935 saw the first export of motors and generators to the Soviet Union

1958 marked the first production tool and just one year later 1300 hand-held planers were exported to the newly established Australian subsidiary

1969 saw the world’s first rechargeable battery powered drill with the launch of the 650D

1978 the 6010D entered the market as the first NiCad battery-powered drill

1981 witnessed the first launch of the Makita pneumatic air-nailer and compressor

1983 production started in Canada just two years ahead of the USA

The purchase of the Sachs Dolmar chainsaw business in 1991 set Makita on the path to supplying the world with outdoor power equipment which was reinforced 16 years later with the acquisition of Fuji Robin, the small petrol engine business.

In 1995 production started in China with the first Nickel Metal Hydride battery-powered cordless tools introduced by 1997. This innovative new battery science was underscored with the imaginative introduction of the Lithium-Ion battery on the company’s 90th anniversary in 2005. Makita lead the world with Lithium-Ion technology which has proved the cornerstone of the business’s growth over the past decade.

Today in the UK, the Makita range of tools powered by the most popular 18v Lithium-Ion battery has reached over 100 different products under a single battery. Never before has one brand offered more than 100 different tools all powered by the same battery technology. The range now contains over 540 tools to meet the demands of most industries and occupations. Warehouse capacity grows continuously to match sales demands for machines and accessories. The Service Dealer network has recently been enhanced to 100 centres, well positioned geographically to provide maintenance service cover for both electric and petrol-engine machines with the corresponding increase in spares back-up inventory. The innovative 3-year warranty policy continues to build customer confidence.

Celebrations for Makita’s 100 years will be held around the World during 2015 with this milestone also acting as the keynote to aspirations for the next 100 years. A global message from the President, Shiro Hori, underscores both the confidence and the dedication of every member of the Makita team. “We have adopted these keywords: constant efforts, steady progress – towards Makita’s next 100 years.” The President urges every member of staff to continually develop the company into the global top supplier of power tools, pneumatic tools and grounds maintenance, landscaping and gardening tools and strongly encourages increased visits to the front line to review products in operation and to understand the needs of end-users.

Noting the global fluctuations in commercial, social, economic and political situations the Chairman, Masahiko Goto, praises the company founders and recognises with sincere thanks the support of dealers, end-users, suppliers and shareholders. Mr Goto, at the same time, encourages the use of the expertise and technological power from within the Company to expand into fresh markets, meet customer expectations and constantly consider the future of the Makita brand.

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