Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KHI) Japan

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KHI) Japan

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KHI) Japan


October 15, 1896; 120 years ago
Shōzō Kawasaki

Chūō-ku, Kobe & Minato, Tokyo, Japan


Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KHI) is a Japanese public multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of motorcycles, heavy equipment, aerospace and defense equipment, rolling stock and ships. It also produce industrial robots, gas turbines, boilers and other industrial products. The company was founded in October 15, 1896. The company is named after its founder Shōzō Kawasaki, and has dual headquarters situated in Chūō-ku, Kobe and Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The key people of the company are Shigeru Murayama (Chairman) and Yoshinori Kanehana (President).

KHI is known as one of the three major heavy industrial manufacturers of Japan, alongside Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and IHI. KHI was part of the Kobe Kawasaki zaibatsu prior to World War II, which included Kawasaki Steel and Kawasaki Kisen. KHI became part of the DKB Group after the war.



 1878s - 1909s :

Kawasaki's origins go back to 1878, when Shozo Kawasaki established Kawasaki Tsukiji Shipyard in Tokyo. After eighteen years, in 1896, it was integrated as Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd. In 1897, Kawasaki Dockyard completed a cargo-passenger ship, Iyomaru (727 GT), its first ship after becoming a publicly traded company. In 1906, the newly opened Hyogo Works began fabrication of locomotives, freight and passenger cars and bridge girders. This is also the year that Kawasaki started production of marine steam turbines at its dockyard.


1910s - 1979s :

In 1918, Kawasaki started manufacturing trucks at Hyogo Works to meet the social needs of the day, however, production was suspended until 1929, when the Company (Kawasaki Rolling Stock Manufacturing) resumed manufacturing automobiles.

Following the Kawasaki W series, Japan's largest motorcycle of the day, which initiated the big bike boom, the Company launched an epoch-making new model, the H1 (2-stroke, 3-cylinder, 498 cm3) in 1969.

In 1972, the Company released Japan's largest motorcycle of the day, the Kawasaki Z1, featuring an air-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, 903 cm3, DOHC engine, which was Kawasaki's first 4-stroke engine with a state-of-the-art, unique mechanism.

In 1975, The Company (Kawasaki Aircraft) started full-scale motorcycle business in 1960, and forged ahead in the U.S. market in the late 1960s. Motorcycle sales subsidiaries were set up in Chicago in 1966 and in New Jersey the next year. In 1968, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) was created by merging the two companies, and it aggressively promoted sales.


1980s - Present :

In 1988, It begins production of construction machinery in the U.S. In 1996, the company celebrate its 100th anniversary. In 2002, Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation and Kawasaki Precision Machinery Ltd. are established as wholly owned subsidiaries. In 2005, Kawasaki Plant Systems, Ltd. (K Plant) is established as a wholly owned subsidiary.

In 2010, Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation, Kawasaki Precision Machinery Limited (KPM) and Kawasaki Plant Systems, Ltd. (K Plant) are re-merged into Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.




  • Aerospace
  • Rolling stock
  • Shipbuilding
  • Energy plants and facilities
  • Industrial equipment
  • Environment and recycling
  • Infrastructure
  • Transportation


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