EXEDY Chairman retires after 46 years
The Chairman of the EXEDY Group of Companies, Haruo “Hal” Shimizu retired from executive duties on 1 July this year after a 46 year career at EXEDY.
Over the course of his successful career, EXEDY has grown to become the premier manufacturer and supplier of automotive transmission components to OE and aftermarket customers around the world. When Hal started nearly half a century ago however, EXEDY was only a shadow of what it has not become. After commencing with Daikin Manufacturing Company, Ltd (previous name of EXEDY) in 1970, Hal was posted to Chicago in 1973 where he rented some space at the JAPIA office (which is the Japanese equivalent of our AAAA) . Sensing a better opportunity, Hal relocated to Los Angeles to be closer to business opportunities and setup a Daikin representative office out of his apartment. No bank would issue him a credit card and he bought the office furniture from liquidation sales. Shortly after, Hal created the first overseas subsidiary by setting up Daikin Clutch USA Inc. with US$55,000 capital. OE business from GM, Ford, Honda and Nissan soon followed and sales to the aftermarket were expanded rapidly. The company shifted to Troy, Michigan in 1983 to be closer to the key decision makers of the American automotive industry, and in 1987 the first of many overseas factories was built in Belleville, Michigan.
Fast-forward to 2016 and the EXEDY group has expanded to 42 subsidiary companies in 24 countries, employing over 17,000 people worldwide, including EXEDY Australia and EXEDY New Zealand. Hal has been the main driver of most of that corporate expansion over the years since he established the first subsidiary in 1977 and that influence was solidified when he became president of EXEDY Group in 2006, and later chairman in 2015.
Hal’s expertise and influence within EXEDY will continue through his new role of Corporate Advisor, and he continues to be an active member in business and industry bodies in Japan.