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Japanese giants merge

Hitachi and Sumitomo are forming a joint venture which will merge their crawler crane operations.

The two Japanese giants have been co-operating on research projects with mobile crane manufacturer Tadano for the last six months and the decision to launch a joint venture has grown out of the co-operation. Tadano is not involved.

Sumitomo and Hitachi will have exactly 50 percent ownership of the new company each. It will have a new name, as yet undisclosed, and will be responsible for sales, R&D, production, servicing and customer support activities.

Hitachi's factory in The Netherlands is expected to continue producing crawler cranes for Europe, but will gradually switch to produce combined Hitachi and Sumitomo models.

Sumitomo's Link-Belt operation will continue to be owned by Sumitomo Heavy Industries.