140 years of excellence: A brief history of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

With over 140 years of tradition, innovation and excellence to draw from, it’s a challenge to detail the history of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and the wider Mitsubishi Group. However, meeting challenges is synonymous with MHI, so here goes…

With more than 600 companies and over 80,000 employees now being part of the Mitsubishi community, the Group is proud to be at the forefront of industries such as banking, trading, manufacturing, food processing, consulting, logistics and automotive.

We’ve come a long way since our founder, Yataro Iwasaki, set up Mitsubishi in 1870 as a Japanese shipping firm. In 1884, he acquired a shipyard and machinery works in Nagasaki. The business was renamed Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1934. During this time, MHI helped Mitsubishi become the largest private firm in Japan, manufacturing ships, heavy machinery, airplanes and railroad cars.

Over the following decades, MHI has developed into a world-leading multinational business, specialising in engineering, electrical equipment, and electronics. Our products today still include aircraft and ships, but also power equipment, defence systems, forklift trucks, hydraulic equipment, machine tools, automotive and aerospace components, and even space rockets – as well as, of course, our industry-leading air conditioning products.

Our company symbol of three diamonds (or in Japanese, ‘mitsu-bishi’) is a transformed version of the family emblem of Yataro Iwasaki, and embodies almost one-and-a-half centuries of tradition – earning the trust and confidence of people worldwide. These people, MHI customers, remain at the forefront of everything we do, embodied by our company’s mantra, ‘Our Technologies, Your Tomorrow’. We constantly strive to enrich society, both materially and spiritually, while contributing towards the preservation of the global environment, conducting business with integrity and fairness to remain leaders of our industry.

For a more in-depth look at MHI’s history, click here.

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