The Komatsu Dealership Years
As Komatsu Ltd developed its range of construction and mining equipment including dump trucks and scrapers during the late 1960s and 1970s, it was keen to introduce these new products to the fast-developing Australian market with its strong resources sector.
However, with then-distributor WABCO offering its own Australian-manufactured lines of dump trucks and scrapers, there was a fundamental conflict between the two companies.
As a result, Komatsu decided to set up a network of distributors across Australia to handle its new lines, so in early 1978, it appointed ANI Corporation (NSW and Queensland) and Mitchell Cotts Engineering (Western Australia) as distributors of Komatsu dump trucks and scrapers.
Interestingly, the then-ANI Sargeants facilities at Fairfield in Sydney and Sherwood in Brisbane remain Komatsu facilities to this day Fairfield as its regional headquarters, and Sherwood for its Australian used and rental equipment and training facility.
The following year, on July 6, 1979, Komatsu Ltd established Komatsu Australia Pty Ltd (KAP) as its importer/wholesaler, based in premises in Botany.
A year later, in August 1980, Komatsu Australia discontinued its distributor agreement with WABCO Distribution, appointing the following dealer network to handle its entire range of construction and mining equipment:ANI Komatsu: NSW and QueenslandForcepower: Victoria, South Australia and Northern TerritoryMC Komatsu: Western AustraliaAssociated Machinery Services (taken over by Forcepower in July 1982): Tasmania.
During the 1980s, Australian businesses embarked on a flurry of acquisitions, mergers and takeovers, and Komatsu's dealer holding companies were among those affected.
In August 1987, Hawker Noyes Pty Ltd acquired MC Komatsu parent company Mitchell Cotts Australia, to become Komatsu's distributor in Western Australia (retaining the name MC Komatsu). A few months later, in April 1988, the Northern Territory was added to MC Komatsu's distribution territory.
Later that year, in October 1988, ANI Corporation acquired the assets of Forcepower, expanding ANI Komatsu's distribution territory from NSW and Queensland to include Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Three years later, in October 1991, NS Komatsu Pty Ltd was established as a joint venture between Nippon Steel Trading Co Ltd and Komatsu Ltd.
It then acquired all the assets and employees of ANI Komatsu to become the Komatsu distributor in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Just over a year later, on January 1, 1993, NS Komatsu acquired the assets and employees of WA/NT distributor MC Komatsu, forming a single national Komatsu distributor for the first time since the WABCO years a situation that remains to this day.