A Century of Innovation

KAWASAKI: A CENTURY OF TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

innovation timeline
1878

Our founder, Shozo Kawasaki, opens a shipyard to build oceangoing steel ships. In 1886, the fledgling operation is expanded to become the Kawasaki Dockyard.

1896

The Kawasaki Dockyard is incorporated, and Kojiro Matsukata is appointed as the first president of the company.

1906

Fabrication of locomotives, freight cars, passenger carriages and bridge girders begins at the newly opened Hyogo Works. Meanwhile, production of marine steam turbines begins at the dockyard.

1918

The Aircraft Department is established at the Hyogo Works, just 15 years after the Wright brothers' maiden flight. The department begins manufacturing aircraft at a time when airplanes, able to remain airborne only for a few hours, are still made from wood and cloth. Soon afterwards, the department's new manufacturing plant builds Japan's first metal aircraft.

1919

Fabrication of locomotives, freight cars, passenger carriages and bridge girders begins at the newly opened Hyogo Works. Meanwhile, production of marine steam turbines begins at the dockyard.

1928

The Hyogo Works is separately incorporated as Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd.

1937

The Aircraft Department is separately incorporated as Kawasaki Aircraft Co., Ltd continued.

1950

The Steelmaking Department is separately incorporated as Kawasaki Steel Corporation. The incorporation of these divisions, both before and after World War II, was designed to strengthen their position in their position in their respective industries. In 1953, the Company also expanded into the motorcycle manufacturing business.

Throughout the postwar recovery period, Japan enjoyed a period of rapid economic growth. The strength of this growth throughout the 1950s and 1960s was in no small part due to the ships, rolling stock, aircraft, industrial and construction machinery, and steel structures built by Kawasaki.

1966

During this period, in 1966 Kawasaki absorbed Yokoyama Kogyo Co., Ltd a manufacturer of boilers, grinders and conveyors, and expanded industrial and construction machinery operations. Furthermore, in 1969 Kawasaki Dockyard, Kawasaki Rolling Stock Manufacturing and Kawasaki Aircraft merge to become Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. Boosting operations in shipbuilding, rolling stock, aircraft, industrial machinery, civil engineering equipment and steel structures.

1969

Kawasaki Dockyard, Kawasaki Rolling Stock Manufacturing and Kawasaki Aircraft merge to become Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.

1972

In 1972, Kisha Seizo Co., Ltd. merges into Kawasaki, making the Company Japan's top manufacturer of rolling stock and extending our business in municipal refuse incineration plants.

The Company now had the makings of a total system engineering company, with the capacity to handle projects on land, at sea and in the air. The above merger happened at a time when there was growing need to apply advanced technologies and broad engineering experience to large-scale projects. Ships, rolling stock and aircraft were becoming larger, faster and more automated with land was being developed throughout Japan in a drive to dramatically increase productivity. Advanced technologies paved the way for the development of new projects in inner and outer space, and even in the microscopic world.

1996

Kawasaki celebrates the 100th anniversary of its incorporation, moving into its second century with a continued focus on the relationship between humankind and the Earth.

2002+

Kawasaki moves into its second century with a continued focus on technology and innovation.

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