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Newsletter "SEI NEWS" 2011

Home > Company Information > SEI WORLD > Back number > Vol.400

[Newsletter "SEI NEWS" Vol.400]

Global Development of Sumitomo Electric Group

The Sumitomo Electric Group is a family of nearly 500 companies in over 30 countries around the world, with over 170,000 employees. Here, we present a summary of the Group’s global development, which began with the exportation of power cable some 100 years ago.

Global Development

The Sumitomo Electric Group started expanding overseas sales mainly through the exportation of electric wire during the era of the Group’s forerunner, Sumitomo Electric Wire & Cable Works. In the 1960s, the Group began to receive an increasing number of orders for full turnkey projects, further developing its overseas business in addition to the exportation of finished products. The Plaza Accord of 1985 (resulting in US dollar depreciation relative to the Japanese yen) prompted the Group to establish overseas sales and manufacturing bases, leading to business operations in a wide range of segments in Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. In more recent years, the Group has begun working with its trade customers in their overseas expansion projects. The Group’s focus in its global development is on mutually beneficial collaboration with host countries and regions, based on the principle of local production for local consumption.

Progress of Sumitomo Electric Group
1915 - Sales channels of exported electric wire expanded
- Overseas sales 174,000 yen (in China, India, South Seas and Russia)
1916 Overseas sales 1.2 million yen
1917 Overseas sales 2 million yen
1949 Foreign Section established in Electric Wire Division
1950 ACSR (aluminum conductor steel reinforced)-related technical assistance contract signed with National Insulated Cable Company of India (pioneer in technology exportation)
1955 First exportation of magnet wire equipment to United Kingdom
1956 First post-war exportation of communication cable to Pakistan
1958 Massive exportation of prestressing steel wire and strand
1960 Representative office opened in New York (Company's first overseas base)
1961 Exportation of electric wire equipment to India (Japan's first full-scale electric wire brand exportation)
1963 Order received for power transmission line construction project in Venezuela (Company's first overseas power transmission line construction)
1964 Foreign Division established
1967 - Order received for power transmission line construction project in Ceylon (ultra-large-scale project by contemporary standards-- worth 3.8 billion yen)
- Order received for South Africa's national railway coaxial cable construction project (Company's first large-scale communication project overseas)
1969 - Overseas Business Division established
- SIAM Electric Industries Co., Ltd. (present Sumitomo Electric Wintec (Thailand) Co., Ltd.), Company's first overseas manufacturing base, established in Thailand
1970 - Equity participation in Korloy Inc. (first overseas joint venture outside electric wire segment)
- Representative office opened in Los Angeles
1972 Sumitomo Electric Europe S. A. established
1973 Sumiden Singapore Pte., Ltd. (present Sumitomo Electric Wintec (Singapore) Pte., Ltd.), magnet wire manufacturing factory, established in Singapore
1974 Nigeria Wire and Cable Company, joint venture electric wire factory with West State Government of Nigeria, established
1976 Order received for a communication network construction project in Nigeria
1977 - Order received for large-scale power transmission line construction project in Iran
- Sumitomo Electric Asia, Ltd., general sales company, established in Hong Kong
1978 Sumiden Tokai Do Brazil Industrias Electicas Ltda., wiring harness manufacturing company, established in Brazil (Company's first overseas operation in wiring harness business)
1979 Sumiden Carbide America Inc. (present Sumitomo Electric Carbide, Inc.), cemented carbide tool sales company, established in United States
1980 - Order received for power transmission/distribution construction project in Saudi Arabia
- Order received for optical cable project in Argentina
1988 - Sumitomo Electric Finance U.S.A., Inc., Company's first overseas financing company, established in United States
- Judd Wire Inc. acquired (Company’s first large-scale acquisition of overseas company)
1989 Representative office opened in Beijing
1991 Traffic control system constructed in Thailand, for first time outside Japan
1994 Tianjin Jin-Zhu Wiring Systems Co., Ltd., wiring harness manufacturing company, established in China
2008 - Hangzhou SEI-Futong Optical Fiber Co., Ltd., optical fiber preform manufacturing joint venture, established in China
- SE Wiring Systems Egypt S. A. E., automotive wiring harness manufacturing company, established in Egypt/td>
2010 Sumitomo Electric Interconnect Products (Shenzhen), Ltd., joint electronics business base, established in China
1976: Order received for communication network construction project in Nigeria ... project developed human resources

This project, for which the order was placed by the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications of Nigeria, was Sumitomo Electric’s first large-scale communication network construction project. Worth 72.2 billion yen, it involved 38 telephone exchange offices. This urban telephone network construction project was unprecedented in size, even by the international standards of those days, for a project awarded to a single company. Three hundred Japanese and 2,000 local staff worked together until project completion 11.5 years later, in 1988. This project greatly increased the number of staff with solid experience in overseas construction projects. The personnel also gained confidence from this successful project, going on to work on other similar projects in the years to come.

1989: Representative office opened in Beijing ... Beginning with only one representative

The Group’s China operations, which today involve over 50 Group companies, began in 1989 with the establishment of the representative office in Beijing. Initially, there was only one Manager and one local staff member. The office explored business opportunities in China through PR activities, while at the same time collecting information through contact with various governmental organizations, as well as building networks and ties. Despite the Tiananmen Square Incident immediately following the office opening, it has continuously expanded its operations and personnel, thanks to the continuously growing Chinese economy.

Global development of the automotive wiring harness business

The Group supplies automotive wiring harnesses to automakers around the world. In Europe, the Group commenced full-fledged operations in 1990. Business has continuously expanded since then, mainly through M&A, resulting in the establishment of SEWS-Cabind S.P.A. in Italy in 2001 and Sumitomo Electric Bordnetze GmbH in Germany in 2006. At present, the Group is also actively operating in East Europe (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine) and North Africa (Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia), where manufacturing bases for the European markets are located. In automotive-related segments today, the Group’s overseas affiliated companies number approximately 100.

Overseas Sales

The Sumitomo Electric Group supplies technologies and products, many of which command the largest shares in world markets, of Asia, Americas and Europe. The percentage of sales outside Japan has been on the rise in recent years, now accounting for some 40% of consolidated Group sales.

Overseas Sales

Global Network

* Number of companies combines consolidated subsidiaries and companies to which the equity accounting method is applied, as of the end of September 2010.

Global Network



The Global Network page on Sumitomo Electric'website

The "Global Network" page on Sumitomo Electric' website has recently undergone complete renewal. Previously, only selected affiliated companies were presented, with only textual information. On the renewed page, the Group companies outside Japan are arranged by country; to obtain further information, visitors need only place their cursor on a desired map location and click. The Japanese Group companies are arranged both by business segment and Japanese syllabary order for ease of search. The new page, up since January 4, 2011, awaits your visit.

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