News Releases


Hitachi to Realign Battery Business Framework

Tokyo, November 25, 2011 --- Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT / TSE:6501 “Hitachi”) will realign the operation of the Hitachi Group’s battery business into a framework organized by application, specifically, consumer, automotive and industrial systems applications. Business operations will be centralized at Hitachi Maxell Energy, Ltd. (“Hitachi Maxell Energy”) for consumer applications, Hitachi Vehicle Energy, Ltd. (“Hitachi Vehicle Energy”) for automotive applications, and Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co., Ltd. (“Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery”) for industrial systems applications. Hitachi also plans to centralize oversight of large-scale lithium-ion batteries for industrial systems applications at Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery by transferring this responsibility from the Battery Systems Company, effective January 1, 2012.

Currently, the battery market is showing a growing need for technological development such as development of larger capacity and higher output batteries. Technological innovation has advanced rapidly as a result of strong ties between battery systems and application products, particularly in the fields of batteries for automotive and industrial systems applications. Furthermore, companies are now entering the lithium-ion battery market from around the world, sparking stronger price competition. In addition, as energy-conservation demand rapidly expands worldwide, there has been a growing need for solutions that help to secure a stable power supply in times of emergency by combining renewable energy and large-scale storage batteries.

In response to these changes in the business environment, Hitachi established the Battery Systems Division on April 1, 2009 and began to formulate strategies for the entire Group with respect to the battery businesses that were previously promoted by each Group company individually. Furthermore, the Battery Systems Company was established on April 1, 2010 to coordinate the technologies, expertise, development resources, and other assets of Group companies, while laying stronger foundations for fundamental technologies such as electrode materials, control, and application technologies. Hitachi has also worked to strengthen power source solutions that combine standalone battery cells with application systems. Here, Hitachi has created new applications that contribute to the Social Innovation Business, which is a key priority for the Hitachi Group, and expanded these power solutions to large-scale applications.

Alongside these efforts to enhance the development of technologies and solutions, Hitachi has worked to develop a framework for driving business expansion by promoting strong ties between battery systems and application products. Specifically, in April 2011, Hitachi strengthened ties between Hitachi Vehicle Energy, which specializes in automotive batteries, and Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd., which specializes in automotive components and systems. At the same time, Hitachi Maxell Energy, which specializes in batteries for consumer applications, was spun off from Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. into an independent company. Moreover, Hitachi has now centralized the battery business for industrial systems applications at Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery. This has formed a framework capable of keeping up with rapid market changes by creating solutions utilizing world-class technological and product capabilities in each business based on strong ties between battery systems and products in the fields of consumer, automotive and industrial systems applications. In addition, Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. today announced that it aims to convert Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery into a wholly owned subsidiary through a tender offer.

Lithium-ion batteries are a key component underpinning Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business, including the fields of Green Mobility and new energy. Hitachi will work to promote swifter, more dynamic business development with the aim of maximizing corporate value.