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Making heavy movements toward social change

Nov 15, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Starting off in 1921, Takeuchi Mining Industry has grown into the Japanese multinational giant Komatsu, known around the world for high-quality construction, mining, forestry and military equipment. Based in Tokyo, the company has operations in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Komatsu Holdings South America and Komatsu Cummins Chile President Yasushi Sakano

Operating in Chile since 1999, Komatsu Cummins Chile Ltda. has more than 7,400 employees and accounts for 70 percent of consolidated sales in Latin America. In 2010, the company set up Komatsu Holdings South America in Santiago to act as the regional headquarters and increase efficiency through sales of heavy machinery.

Today, it is still undergoing a corporate restructuring since the acquisition of Komatsu Mining Corp. and Komatsu Mining Global in 2017. Overseeing these expansive operations is Yasushi Sakano, president of Komatsu Holdings South America and Komatsu Cummins Chile, which services mainly the mining industry through distribution, services and spare parts.

“We already have 20 years of history in the country. Every day, we are supporting customers. I believe that we are growing together. Without Komatsu, mining operations would be difficult. We would like to be an indispensable partner to our suppliers and customers,” Sakano said.

With sustained success, the company recognizes its responsibility of giving back to the local community. Unique to Komatsu Chile is its initiative and commitment to help in solving social problems, which includes the development of a program to train juvenile offenders.

“This is our commitment to the country: to have good relationships with communities and directly give them opportunities for employment,” Sakano said.

Nissan Chile: Driven towards excellence

Nov 15, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

In a clear step to increase its influence over Latin American operations, Japanese automaker Nissan converted its Chilean distributor into a full subsidiary in 2015. Present in the country for more than 50 years, the decision was a right one because it sold a record number of units last fiscal year.

Nissan Chile President Diego Vignati

Nissan Chile President Diego Vignati, who was appointed to the top post earlier this year and also oversees Peru operations, believes that the carmaker faces positive prospects because of the economic stability in both the Chilean and Peruvian markets, among other factors.

“The idea is for us to take advantage of all possible synergies between both markets,” he said.

Vignati is optimistic that with Chile s determination to adopt new technology and open its market further will encourage other Japanese companies to introduce new products in the country.

Nissan Chile is also expanding its network and improving its business processes. With excellent service quality indices in sales and after-sales, it hopes to increase its current market share of 7.3 percent with the arrival of new products, including the Versa, which was recently launched in the market.

In June, Nissan Chile introduced the second generation of its Leaf electric powered car to complement the country s drive to promote more environment friendly technology. And for promoting electromobility in the country, the company received an award by Chile's Recyclapolis Foundation.

“This kind of technology will help improve the quality of life in Chile. Japanese companies are very well perceived here and are welcome because they provide good products, service and quality,” Vignati said.

Mining new solutions for success

Nov 15, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Although backed by very strong companies, size hasn’t assured smooth operations for Sierra Gorda SCM, which has remained one of the largest copper mining operations in the Antofagasta region of Chile. In fact, the company got off to a precarious start.

Miguel Baeza, Sierra Gorda's vice president and general counsel for corporate affairs and sustainability

“When we were ready to begin operations in 2014, the prices of metals went down sharply. So for us, the first years were very tough,” Miguel Baeza, Sierra Gorda’s vice president and general counsel for corporate affairs and sustainability recalled.

However, the company managed to turn things around in 2017 as it focused on streamlining costs while increasing output, two factors that lay within their control.

“There were other factors that influenced our bottom line: Metal prices and cost of main supplies. So, controlling costs and producing as much concentrate as possible gave us great results. Our new general manager, who brings great operational experience from Poland, surely contributed to this,” Baeza said.

Overseeing the focus on production efficiency, General Manager Miroslaw Kidon pointed out that Sierra Gorda reported record results this year.

According to Baeza, unwavering support from its main shareholders, particularly during the toughest periods, contributed to the success of Sierra Gorda SCM. Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo Corp. have a 45 percent stake in the mining operations, while the remaining 55 percent is held by KGHM from Poland.

Mitsubishi remains committed to growing together with Chile

Nov 15, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Mitsubishi Corp. has grown with Chile since the 1950s and seen its remarkable growth, as well as the country’s strength to overcome tough times.

Mitsubishi Chile President Tadashi Omatoi

Despite the current unrest in the country, the company is unwavering in its dedication to work with Chile through and through.

Mitsubishi’s activities in Chile began with trading. Several years passed since the Japanese giant ventured into mining through investments in three copper projects and an iron ore project in the country, which is now the company’s second-largest recipient of investment next to Australia.

Mitsubishi Chile Ltda. President Tadashi Omatoi has shared his plans to shift the company’s growth model because of the promising prospects presented by the Chilean economy.

“Our traditional model has been to export low-cost natural resources from Chile to Japan. Now, we are looking at Chile as a market as well,” he said.

With the development plans ready, Omatoi believes that Mitsubishi will continue to innovate because of its commitment to grow with the region and adapt accordingly.

“We consider Chile, though its market alone is not significant in size, as an entry point from where we can expand to other countries. We consider that it is easier to get a new business started in this country,” he said.

Chile 2019 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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