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Forum topic by dday posted 09-10-2018 01:21 PM 683 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dday

168 posts in 1630 days


09-10-2018 01:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hitachi rebrand metabo

What’s going on with Hitachi brand, I watched an unboxing video with one of my favorite Youtubers and she unboxed a bunch of Hikoki products. I’d never heard of the brand and thought it looked just like Hitachi, so I Googled it and found out that Hitachi is rebranding to HiKoki.

I also found articles where Hitachi Power Tools is rebranding in North America to Metabo HPT, not to be confused with their sister company Metaba, maker of the famous angle grinders…

What’s up with all of that? Hitachi is my favorite cordless brand. I have 2 12v drills and 1 12v driver that I have been abusing, uh, I mean, using for years and love them.

Anybody got an inside track or a “everyman’s” explanation of what’s going on?


13 replies so far

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

360 posts in 2121 days


#1 posted 09-10-2018 02:28 PM

It is how corporations make money, buyout, produce, at a cheaper level.
Brand labelling is standard in every manufacturing business.
Go to the grocery store the store brands are made by other companies.
Dolmar made Makita chainsaws and now only Makita saws are available, they bought out Dolmar.
Hioki meters used to make many of the electrical metering companies (Amprobe).
Sigma made many camera lenses for others.

View JayT's profile

JayT

5960 posts in 2412 days


#2 posted 09-10-2018 02:50 PM

Metabo bought the power tool division from Hitachi about a year ago, but Hitachi did not sell any rights to their name. Metabo had a certain amount of time to come up with a new name and branding for the tools to separate them from the Japanese conglomerate. This actually started about March with some lines and is now being seen more as products come to market.

My understanding is that the basic designs of the Hitachi tools are not really changing, so batteries and accessories should still be available. Not sure why they are using one brand name in Europe and a different one in the US, though.

With the quality of tools that Metabo puts out, I don’t see this as a bad thing for anyone. If anything, the quality might actually go up. (Hitachi quality had slipped overall in the last 5 year or so, IMHO, as they were trying too hard to compete on price) Only time will tell.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Eddie33's profile

Eddie33

15 posts in 338 days


#3 posted 09-12-2018 11:59 PM

Jay pretty much nailed it above. I did my own research about this subject after noticing my local Lowe’s had a 12” Hatachi sliding miter saw originally $449.00 marked down to $369.00 The saw read Hitachi on the side but the model tag on it was listed as Hikoki Hitachi. According to the terms of the buyout, the Hitachi name can’t be used after September 30th and I assume this was the reason for the saw being on sale. It went home with me about a week ago and so far I’m impressed with the saw. It was dead on when i checked it with my machinist square and it has plenty of power and cuts well. I’m using a Ridgid shop vac for dust collection and it seems to get most of the dust. I really hope the quality of the brand only gets better with time. I have owned many Hitachi products over the years and was always happy however the last few years it was apparent that quality had taken a backseat to price. Let’s hope Metabo changes things up and makes it one of the better brands in the marketplace.

View syenefarmer's profile

syenefarmer

512 posts in 3281 days


#4 posted 09-13-2018 03:30 PM



……………….. I really hope the quality of the brand only gets better with time. I have owned many Hitachi products over the years and was always happy however the last few years it was apparent that quality had taken a backseat to price. Let’s hope Metabo changes things up and makes it one of the better brands in the marketplace.

- Eddie33

If past history is any indication I doubt if the new owners of the old Hitachi tool line will make it one the the better brands out there, think Delta and Porter Cable to name just two. Seems like most times when a company is sold, and I’m not just talking tools here, the new owners never improve the quality of their products but do the opposite. I hope in this case that I’m wrong.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1413 posts in 1424 days


#5 posted 09-13-2018 04:07 PM


……………….. I really hope the quality of the brand only gets better with time. I have owned many Hitachi products over the years and was always happy however the last few years it was apparent that quality had taken a backseat to price. Let’s hope Metabo changes things up and makes it one of the better brands in the marketplace.

- Eddie33

If past history is any indication I doubt if the new owners of the old Hitachi tool line will make it one the the better brands out there, think Delta and Porter Cable to name just two. Seems like most times when a company is sold, and I m not just talking tools here, the new owners never improve the quality of their products but do the opposite. I hope in this case that I m wrong.

- syenefarmer

The difference is who the buyer is. In Europe, Metabo is looked at one of the premiere power tool brands. Many even say that Metabo makes Festool look like Black and Decker. I’m also hoping that it will be a good thing and Metabo I doubt would use their name on a product line that will give them a black eye in terms of quality and reputation. Especially the German manufacturers.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5176 posts in 2694 days


#6 posted 09-13-2018 04:16 PM

What they said. The only thing is I think who bought whom is mixed up. It’s my understanding that Hitachi bought out Metabo. This is alarming to me, since Metabo is one of the premier tool brands and Hitachi, well, isn’t. I’m hoping Hitachi gets better…and really hoping Metabo isn’t undercut. I think the worse news is that an American buyout firm (KKR) just acquired the combined company, and they have a habit of ruining everything in their efforts to “unlock unrealized value” in these firms they acquire.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View JayT's profile

JayT

5960 posts in 2412 days


#7 posted 09-13-2018 04:19 PM

+1 to AZWoody

Metabo’s reasons for acquiring Hitachi are very different than Stanley’s profit only motives when buying Delta and Porter Cable. Metabo has been trying for years to increase their presence in the US market, but it’s very tough with a pro power tool category dominated by DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita and Bosch (and to a lesser extent Ridgid). With the purchase of Hitachi they are acquiring what is a known brand in the US, albeit currently taking a back seat to the big four, and using that name and current level of distribution to increase their presence in the market.

It was obvious what was going to happen with Porter Cable when Stanley acquired them, because of the conflict with their already owned DeWalt and Bostitch lines. As I look at it,that is not the case for Hitachi and Metabo. The most likely route for Metabo is to take some of their excellent designs (the angle grinders are awesome!) and simply use a different color of plastic housing to create some really nice tools in a color and brand that US users are somewhat familiar with.

Only time will tell if that is correct. Fred, you are correct that KKR is the current owner. I’m not 100% sure what that is going to mean, as private equity firms have different ideas of how to increase value of a company. For now I prefer to be optimistic.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1413 posts in 1424 days


#8 posted 09-13-2018 05:07 PM



+1 to AZWoody

Metabo s reasons for acquiring Hitachi are very different than Stanley s profit only motives when buying Delta and Porter Cable. Metabo has been trying for years to increase their presence in the US market, but it s very tough with a pro power tool category dominated by DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita and Bosch (and to a lesser extent Ridgid). With the purchase of Hitachi they are acquiring what is a known brand in the US, albeit currently taking a back seat to the big four, and using that name and current level of distribution to increase their presence in the market.

It was obvious what was going to happen with Porter Cable when Stanley acquired them, because of the conflict with their already owned DeWalt and Bostitch lines. As I look at it,that is not the case for Hitachi and Metabo. The most likely route for Metabo is to take some of their excellent designs (the angle grinders are awesome!) and simply use a different color of plastic housing to create some really nice tools in a color and brand that US users are somewhat familiar with.

Only time will tell if that is correct. Fred, you are correct that KKR is the current owner. I m not 100% sure what that is going to mean, as private equity firms have different ideas of how to increase value of a company. For now I prefer to be optimistic.

- JayT

I’m honestly excited to see what they bring here. Currently, I am using Milwaukee. I have used a few other brands but have settled on the Milwaukee ecosystem as they have a pretty wide range of tool solutions for the different projects I have here for the various odd jobs I do.

What people don’t know is that while the 4 brands you mention, the only tool here in the same class as Metabo would be Hilti. Pricewise, Hilti is also in the same price range as Metabo as well but to make a name, they will have to compete with the top 4 as you said.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1413 posts in 1424 days


#9 posted 09-13-2018 05:08 PM


+1 to AZWoody

Metabo s reasons for acquiring Hitachi are very different than Stanley s profit only motives when buying Delta and Porter Cable. Metabo has been trying for years to increase their presence in the US market, but it s very tough with a pro power tool category dominated by DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita and Bosch (and to a lesser extent Ridgid). With the purchase of Hitachi they are acquiring what is a known brand in the US, albeit currently taking a back seat to the big four, and using that name and current level of distribution to increase their presence in the market.

It was obvious what was going to happen with Porter Cable when Stanley acquired them, because of the conflict with their already owned DeWalt and Bostitch lines. As I look at it,that is not the case for Hitachi and Metabo. The most likely route for Metabo is to take some of their excellent designs (the angle grinders are awesome!) and simply use a different color of plastic housing to create some really nice tools in a color and brand that US users are somewhat familiar with.

Only time will tell if that is correct. Fred, you are correct that KKR is the current owner. I m not 100% sure what that is going to mean, as private equity firms have different ideas of how to increase value of a company. For now I prefer to be optimistic.

- JayT

I m honestly excited to see what they bring here. Currently, I am using Milwaukee. I have used a few other brands but have settled on the Milwaukee ecosystem as they have a pretty wide range of tool solutions for the different projects I have here for the various odd jobs I do.

What people don t know is that while the 4 brands you mention are the most popular, the only tool here in the same class as Metabo would be Hilti. Pricewise, Hilti is also in the same price range as Metabo as well but to make a name, they will have to compete with the top 4 as you said.

- AZWoody


View dday's profile

dday

168 posts in 1630 days


#10 posted 09-13-2018 05:37 PM

Thanks for all the input guys.
I guess I’ll just have to see what happens.
I’m really happy with the 12v tools that I have , but it seems like everyone is moving to the 18v or higher platform and finding batteries and chargers is getting harder

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1413 posts in 1424 days


#11 posted 09-13-2018 05:42 PM



Thanks for all the input guys.
I guess I ll just have to see what happens.
I m really happy with the 12v tools that I have , but it seems like everyone is moving to the 18v or higher platform and finding batteries and chargers is getting harder

- dday

Nothing wrong with 12V. I have both the 12 and 18v Milawukee products but I tend to get more of the 12V offerings. Firstly, they fit my hands better and usually weight a lot less. Secondly, for woodworking, there is no need for excessive power. the 12V does everything I need it to do and even then I’ve broken off a few pocket hole screws with the 12v being too aggressive. Thirdly, cost is usually less when buying the bare tools and batteries.

As long as you can find the batteries, no need to upgrade unless you want to just upgrade for the newer tools. Nothing wrong with that as I do that also from time to time.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5176 posts in 2694 days


#12 posted 09-14-2018 12:17 PM

The KKR purchase makes this a moot point, but those who think Metabo bought Hitachi should check out these articles in trade publications: Tools of the trade, Industrial Distribution. There are quite a few others posted on line. But like I said, I think the KKR thing makes all this moot….we can hope for the best, but that seldom (IMHO) happens when a private equity firm takes over.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1413 posts in 1424 days


#13 posted 09-14-2018 03:07 PM



The KKR purchase makes this a moot point, but those who think Metabo bought Hitachi should check out these articles in trade publications: Tools of the trade, Industrial Distribution. There are quite a few others posted on line. But like I said, I think the KKR thing makes all this moot….we can hope for the best, but that seldom (IMHO) happens when a private equity firm takes over.

- Fred Hargis

i understand that but I am hopeful German obstinance will help to keep the quality of the brand up. I’ve dealt with German engineers and yes, they are good but they are also very stubborn and believe they are the only ones who do things right. I would think that they had quality provisions because as I have seen before when other companies have bought a German company the companies have flat out refused to put their name on something that would dilute their work, name and quality.

I have first hand experience with this in the ag sector dealing with German engineers and also, in their factories manufacturing tractors and other ag equipment. Sometimes it’s frustrating but they rarely make compromises. For example, AGCO bought Fendt, the top tractor manufacturer and to get them to make a line of tractors for the US but with yellow paint was akin to even having the factory workers change religions. During the roll out, there was silence, not excitement as you would expect with something new. That’s just for a paint change. The quality was still there and their engineering as well.

My optimism is in hoping to see a new high quality product to the US.

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