50 Years Kyocera

Mr. Mizukami, you are the President of Kyocera Europe, a group originally from Japan. What can you tell us about Kyocera?

The KYOCERA Corporation was founded in 1959 as a manufacturer of fineceramic components in the Japanese imperial city of Kyoto, from which the company name is derived. Since then, we have expanded our global business by developing a variety of products based on fineceramic technology.

We have since grown into a global company with approx. 78.000 employees worldwide, and Kyocera is ranked #549 on Forbes magazine’s 2020 “Global 2000” list of the world’s largest publicly traded companies and appears on The Wall Street Journal’s latest list of “The World’s 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies.”

Yusuke Mizukami, President of Kyocera Europe GmbH

Yusuke Mizukami was appointed President of Kyocera Europe GmbH on 1 April 2020. Prior to this position, he could already look back on over 30 years of professional experience as a manager in various divisions of the Kyocera Group.


Your company is celebrating its 50th anniversary on the European market this year. How has the European business developed and what role does Europe play in an international comparison?

Following economic success in the Japanese market, Kyocera ventured into Europe in 1971, entering into a joint venture with Feldmuehle GmbH, a manufacturer of paper products, among other goods. The aim of the resulting „Feldmuehle Kyocera

Your company is celebrating its 50th anniversary on the European market this year. How has the European business developed and what role does Europe play in an international comparison?

Elektronische Bauteile GmbH“ was to combine the technological expertise of both companies, create synergies and use them to expand the business in Europe and focus on fineceramic materials for the electronics- and automotive-industry such as substrates.

We started from scratch and generated more than 1 billion Yen (approx. 10 million Euro) in our third financial year through the successful sale of our substrates to European semiconductor manufacturers. This has created a solid foundation as a business expansion base in Europe. In recent years, we have acquired strategically important companies in Germany and Europe whose innovations and know-how suit us and help us to position and develop ourselves in the individual sectors.

These include: In 2011, we acquired Danish based Unimerco S.A. and made the company a wholly owned subsidiary of Kyocera Europe. Kyocera Unimerco S.A. supplies customised industrial tools to major European car manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers and wind turbine builders. In 2012, Kyocera then acquired the Hessen-based subsidiary of the Japanese company Optrex, which had a strong customer base and advanced technology for LCDs in the automotive industry and incorporated it into our group as KYOCERA Automotive and Industrial Solutions GmbH.

Most recently, in 2019, we also added two long-standing manufacturers of fineceramic components, H.C. Starck Ceramic GmbH in Selb – now KYOCERA Fineceramics Precision GmbH, and Mannheim based company Friatec GmbH, now KYOCERA Fineceramics Solutions GmbH. Both companies were integrated into KYOCERA Europe GmbH. As a result, we now have two production sites in Europe.

Since Europe is a large market for fineceramic components, we can now respond to customer inquiries much faster than before. Last fiscal year, about 18.5% or approx. 2,18 Billion euros of Kyocera’s global turnover of around 11,74 Billion euros were generated in Europe, and the trend is rising: the European business has overtaken the USA in terms of sales and is thus becoming increasingly important for the entire KYOCERA Group.

In view of your current acquisitions, in which business areas and divisions will you be driving your German business forward in the future?

KYOCERA Europe GmbH has expanded its business in the past by focusing on ceramic components, a core competence of our product lines. Our recent acquisitions are also in line with this focus, and we will continue to follow this path for further business growth. We firmly believe that our existing business regions meet the requirements for continued growth.

What growth potential do you see in Europe in the coming years?

With the introduction of more and more high-tech innovations in recent years, such as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) components to realise a safe automotive society, and fineceramic and electronic components for which demand is increasing with the expansion of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, we are specifically addressing the increased demand of an increasingly technological society.

In line with the spread of 5G, we are also focusing on developing products and systems in areas such as telecommunication base stations and devices that are attracting attention both in Japan and Germany. Through our self-directed research and development and an eye on various global technological needs, we are confident of continuous growth – in Germany and around the world.

„As a broadly positioned company, we are always striving to further expand and optimise our technological competencies and maintain our spirit of research.“

In which divisions were you able to position your company as a successful supplier on the market?

When the semiconductor market boomed in the eighties, we were able to assert ourselves on the market with our ceramic semiconductor housings and consolidate our position to this day. Based on our many years of experience in dealing with advanced fine ceramics, we have been able to increasingly expand our business fields and today offer numerous innovative products based on this material.

In Europe, Kyocera printers are very well known. But what many people don’t know is that our electronic and fineceramic components are also used in a wide range of devices and applications that are essential to everyday life: In addition to industrial and automotive components, Kyocera semiconductor- and electronic components can also be found in numerous solar power generating systems, smartphones and medical products, to name just a few. Furthermore, we also produce kitchen utensils, such as ceramic knives. Since right from the start of our company in Japan, we have always focused on R&D of our fineceramic material. Today we believe that demand for fineceramic-related components will continue to grow in the future.

How important is innovation to Kyocera?

As a broadly positioned company, we are always striving to further expand and optimise our technological competencies and maintain our spirit of research. Kyocera’s commitment to innovation has resulted in more than 18,000 patents worldwide to date, as well as a deep respect for the IP rights of other companies and institutions. We have established patent offices in Japan, the U.S., China, and Germany to maximize IP development and protection in our four principal business areas, which include the information & communications, automotive, environment & energy, and medical & healthcare markets. In this context, Kyocera has also been named among the Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators several times since 2013.

Mr. Mizukami, many thanks for the interesting interview

Lesen Sie die deutsche Version des Interviews: https://www.trendreport.de/50-jahre-kyocera

Aufmacherbild / Quelle / Lizenz
Photo by Brett Garwood on Unsplash

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