Close ties with the Netherlands and Amsterdam
“Even though we already had a strong presence in the Netherlands, when we decided to build a new factory for our excavation machines and needed a location for the top management of our European business we studied several locations including France, Germany and the UK. We concluded for several reasons that Amsterdam was the best place for us,” says Moriaki Kadoya, the CEO of Hitachi Construction Machinery Europe.
Kadoya’s orange tie points to the fact that orange is the brand colour of Hitachi Construction Machinery as well as the colour of the Dutch Royal family. It’s a coincidence but it feels like a subtle reminder of the close ties between company and country. “First of all, the infrastructure here is excellent,” Kadoya continues. “Another big plus is that the Dutch speak their languages. Everybody here speaks English and the Dutch are very internationally oriented. Here in Amsterdam we assemble and distribute excavation machines and efficient logistics is of paramount importance for our business. Therefore, when the Port of Amsterdam made us an attractive offer, the decision became an easy one.”
From Hitachi’s base in Amsterdam, Kadoya travels around Europe frequently. “Our distribution network is very important to us. Maintaining excellent relations with our dealers is therefore essential and I regularly visit them. Our proximity to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is very convenient. From my office or my home it takes me less than 30 minutes to get to the airport. From there, almost all European business locations can be reached within two hours’ flying time.”
Most Japanese expats have no problem finding a place to live, since Hitachi has worked with the same real estate agency for over a decade. Home to one of the largest Japanese communities in Europe, most of the Japanese expats live in Amstelveen. “Like me when I came to Amsterdam, all our international employees go through the Expatcenter. I was pleasantly surprised with the high level of their service. It truly is a one stop shop for all expat related matters such as residence permits, bank accounts and so forth. Many of our Japanese colleagues are not familiar with the Dutch concept of a general practitioner of family doctor. When I needed, it was very convenient to be able to go to a Japanese speaking family doctor here. He referred me to the Japan Desk at the Amstelland Hospital, where I was helped by a Japanese speaking specialist. Because there is a Japanese speaking midwife, the wife of a colleague of mine even chose to have her first child here.”