Hitachi’s competitive advantage in the New Zealand market is its absolute focus on customer needs through the enhancement of power tools.
The manner in which Hitachi introduced recent innovations in lithium ion battery technology to the global market proves this point, according to Accent Tools marketing manager Andrew Way.
Mr Way says Hitachi is the only power tool brand in the world that introduced this new cordless technology by integrating its features into its existing battery platform.
Hitachi has built the new technology into the existing battery shape, making them lighter and delivering all the other benefits of lithium ion — more power, longer lasting and an impressive electronic monitoring system.
“Hitachi is on the leading edge with this, but we take the attitude that we do not wish to penalise or alienate our existing loyal users. So although we have introduced new products to complement the lithium ion technology, the new generation lithium ion batteries are fully retro-compatible with all our same voltage cordless drills, drivers and wrenches.
“In this way, all our tools enjoy all the benefits through the electronic monitoring system in the battery. All our products are ergonomically well-designed, and a lighter battery only enhances that,” he says.
Mr Way explains the lithium ion battery can operate at optimum efficiency due to the electronic monitoring systems Hitachi built into it.
“For example, take our premium model, the DV18DL 18V impact drill. The drill cannot be overloaded — before that happens, an electronic control inside the battery locks out the system and switches off the power, thereby protecting it.
“The battery cannot overcharge, or discharge to the point where it causes damage to iteself. It cannot heat to the point where it is unsafe to use it. The electronic controls monitor the temperature closely, and it will not operate when it is too hot or too cold.
“The main benefit of these controls is that the battery is only operable in optimum conditions, hence the extended overall life of the battery,” he says.
Hitachi in New Zealand focuses on customer needs in other ways too. Being an independent and autonomous Hitachi Distributor with access to the world giant’s resources, New Zealand owned and operated Accent Tools has the flexibility to remain sensitive to local market requirements, yet to offer customers the best of Hitachi’s research and development.
One particular local issue Hitachi has capitalised on is the changing trend in New Zealand regarding the preferred size of circular saws.
“In New Zealand, the trend is for timber to arrive on site in a semi-finished, pre-nailed framing state. This, coupled with the popularity of slide compound mitre saws, means there is no longer such a need for builders to have large capacity circular saws.
“What builders required was a strong but smaller circular saw, and our solution was the incredibly popular 1710-watt, 184mm C7SB2, providing a massive amount of power in a compact size.
Focused response to customers’ needs
“Since our New Zealand inventory is not dictated by Japanese, American or European trends, we are in a position to take opportunities like this and push product when a gap becomes apparent. The result? Focused response by dealerships to our customers’ needs,” Mr Way says.
He says worldwide, Hitachi plans “an aggressive global growth plan” with the imminent introduction of 200 new products containing new technology combined with aggressive new design.
“We just launched the C12LSH Slide Compound Mitre Saw that has a Digital LED screen displaying the exact cutting angle, as well as a unique micro angle adjustment.
“Hitachi’s mission to enhance tools to do the job better, faster and lighter, together with our excellent local distribution and support network, is a cornerstone of our growth strategy in New Zealand.
“We have a high quality sales and service network offering excellent back-up to people around the country who invest in our brand. We understand and recognise how important power tools are for the builder, and that we have to act quickly to get the builder back to work again,” he says.
Hitachi’s extensive range in New Zealand services the trade’s need for heavy duty equipment in the construction, manufacturing and engineering industries.