The management of Hitachi Construction Machinery Europe NV (HCME) intends to move the production and assembly activities currently taking place in Oosterhout to the existing HCME production location in Amsterdam. In the Netherlands, HCME will focus on producing customized machines, in order to better meet the increasing demand from its dealers across Europe. To take advantage of economies of scale, the production and assembly of standard machines will be mainly left to the factories in Japan. The consultation process with the Works Council and the discussions with the trade unions for this proposed relocation have now started.
HCME expects to complete these discussions after the summer. Thereafter, this transition will take several months, and the company aims its completion in December 2021. When the plan goes ahead, possibly 115 jobs may get lost in the course of 2021. The company is currently prioritizing support for its employees. The content of a social plan will be discussed with the unions, whereby redundancies cannot be ruled out. The company promises to make every effort to support its employees in finding other work, either within the company or outside through outplacement.
In order to guarantee the continuity of the company in the longer term and thereby safeguard employment, the business model has been revised. HCME will offer the dealers more customized solutions for the Hitachi machinery. This is something all dealers throughout Europe request from HCME, saving them unnecessary activities, such as removing and replacing the cabin to install for instance a heating device. The organization sees a growing demand for these tailor-made machines. However, from then on, the standard machines for distribution in Europe will mainly be produced in Japan. Additionally, investments will be made in innovations in the areas like service, parts, training and lease/rental. It is expected that these changes will enable HCME to respond to the demand of the European market in a more customer oriented and efficient manner. The meager results in recent years, the changing market demand and the current economic conditions made it necessary for HCME to come to this decision.