The bankruptcy of Takata and acquisition of its assets and operations by a Chinese owned US based company Key Safety Systems is not perhaps the most auspicious moment to announce our new Top 30 Japanese employers in Germany – where Takata, for the time being, is at #3. Its substantial presence in Germany (in contrast to the UK, where it has no operations at all) is due to the acquisition of Petri AG in 2000.
Another Japanese company which should perhaps be classified as Chinese (or rather, Taiwanese) is Sharp. Since Hon Hai/Foxconn’s acquisition, Sharp has radically reorganised itself in Europe. There is Sharp Devices Europe, headquartered in Munich, with what was Sharp Laboratories and is now renamed a Design Centre in Oxford UK and Sharp Business Systems Europe, headquartered in the UK along with the Information Systems unit, with Visual Solutions in Munich and Energy Solutions in Hamburg. Sharp Telecommunications in the UK is being closed down. Sharp’s white goods brand (microwaves etc) is now under license to the Turkish company Vestel but there was a rumour last year that Sharp under Foxconn wanted to buy the brand back.
Many of the other large Japanese companies in Germany are also the result of acquisitions, like Takata – Musashi Seimitsu acquired Johann Hay in 2006, Lixil acquired Grohe/Josef Gartner 2011-2013, Panasonic acquiring Vossloh in 2000 etc.
Comparing to the UK Top 30 – there are some similarities – Fujitsu at the top and Sony, Ricoh, Canon, JTI and Hitachi all featuring. No doubt the list will be revised as we uncover more companies, but it does seem that there are not quite so many employees per large company in Germany as there are in the UK. This might be partly to do with the car factories – Honda, Nissan and Toyota and their associated suppliers in the UK – and also the trading companies such as Itochu, Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation have acquired larger companies in the UK than they have in Germany.
|Rank||Company||Germany employees 2016|
|16||Sumitomo Heavy Industries||1,386|
|18||Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems||1,352|
For the 2022 Top 30 Japanese companies in Germany, see our blog post here.
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