Hitachi cash jab for Lower Hutt plant

Last updated 05:00 20/11/2012

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Japanese construction machinery maker Hitachi has invested $10 million into the Lower Hutt headquarters of its subsidiary, Cable Price.

Cable Price supplies equipment to the construction and mining industries. Chief financial officer Pat Ward said the new headquarters meant combining operations previously spread across several sites and increasing the space in its warehousing from 3500 square metres to 4500sqm.

"This new ‘megasite', if you like, represents bringing together on to one site our head office, the Wellington branch of Cable Price and our national warehouse. It gives us the ability to store parts and distribute them more efficiently as we distribute daily to our network."

The company has 24 branches throughout the country and the exclusive New Zealand licences to sell John Deere forestry and construction equipment, Scania trucks and buses and Hitachi construction machinery.

At the new building, instead of using pits where workers are underneath vehicles to perform maintenance and repairs, it has invested in sky lifters to raise the vehicles from floor level.

"It's the latest technology and gives us more productivity from technicians because they don't have to keep climbing in and out of the pit. It is a lot quicker and smoother. It looks a lot cleaner than the traditional pit."

The new building has oil, grease and air delivery systems built in so staff do not need to carry grease guns or oil drums.

The business has been active in Christchurch since the earthquakes struck the Canterbury region, as it provides demolition equipment such as specialist excavators with long- reach arms and big claws that could cut through concrete for controlled demolition.

"During the earthquakes themselves, our operation was quite critical to the rescue efforts there in terms of keeping Fire Service vehicles maintained and so forth. As the recovery goes through its different processes we continue to sell equipment into Christchurch to support the different stages of that process. We have also got some very big crawler cranes sold into Christchurch that will particularly assist in the reconstruction process."

Cable Price was created in 1951 when the companies William Cable Limited and A&G Price merged. Hitachi bought it in the late 1990s.

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