Corporate History

Comfortable life with Sanden’s history!

Sanden has created ages in people’s life.


1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


1940s

Sanden’s founder, Kaihei Ushikubo, who had been running a textile mill, started manufacturing components of communication devices and mica-condensers in July 1943, when Japan was fighting in World War II and the private sector manufacturing plants were enforced either to shift themselves to ammunition producing plants or close their business. This is how the predecessor company of Sanden, called Sankyo Electric Company, was created with a capital of \198,000. After the war, having taken cues from employees who had been riding bicycles to work, the company changed its business to develop dynamo lighting sets for bicycles. It had run a sales campaign for dynamo bicycle lamps with a trademark “Owl” shining in the darkness, and with the slogans “Second sight in the night” and “A thousand times brighter than a full moon ”. It marked a monthly production of 30 thousand units in 1953, thereby establishing itself as a permanent fixture in the dynamo bicycle lamp business sector.


1943 July Established Sankyo Electric Company in a lot where the present head office of Sanden is located. Started producing parts for wireless communication devices, mica-condensers, and paper-condensers by synthetic resin molding.
1948 March Started manufacturing the dynamo bicycle lamp.

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1950s

JIS was established for the dynamo lamp in April 1952 with the development of the economy as well as the industry. The low-voltage method that prolonged the lamp’s life introduced by Sankyo Electric was adopted as JIS standard. The company started exporting the dynamo bicycle lamp in 1953. Thereafter, it entered the electric home appliance business, aiming to grow from a back-street factory into a modernized company. It further entered the market for refrigerating machines for business use. Engineering staff of the company who sensitively perceived customers’ needs succeeded in developing an open-type showcase for the first time in the industry, which became a hot-selling product.


1952 April Became a designated plant for manufacturing the dynamo bicycle lamp in line with the establishment of the JIS system.
1956 April Started producing mini-motors, electric washers, and other home electric appliances.
June Moved main business office to Tokyo.
1958 June Started producing ice-cream refrigerating stockers and refrigerated showcases.

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1960s

With robust sales of freezers and refrigerated showcases, the company developed an original bubbler juice vending machine in October 1961. The company, which had cemented its position through its freezing technology, listed its stocks on the second section of Tokyo Stock Exchange in August 1962. It further developed oil heaters in July 1963. Thereafter, it succeeded in developing a clean forced ventilation type heater that did not pollute the air in the room for the first time in the world. It consistently accumulated technologies both in cooling and heating areas of business.


1961 October Started producing juice vending machines.
1962 August Listed on the second section of Tokyo Stock Exchange.
1963 July Started producing a Pot-type oil heater.
1964 December Sankyo Sales Company was established, spinning off the sales division from Sankyo Electric Company with capital of ¥25 million.

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1970s

While the company continued development of new products based on its refrigerating and ventilation technologies, it received an offer for technical collaboration for small-scale compressors from Mitchell Corporation in 1969. Taking this opportunity, it started to produce car compressors in 1970 and entered the Automotive air-conditioner market. It listed its stocks on the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange, after much anticipation, in 1973. And it changed its trade name to “Sanden”. Thereafter, it established overseas bases one after the other in the U.S., Singapore, and in European countries. Sanden consistently expanded its production and sales of compressors all over the world.


1970 June Entered a technical collaboration agreement with Mitchell Corporation in the U.S.
The company was commended for the contribution to exports by the Minister of Industry and Trade.
1971 March Started producing Automotive air-conditioners and SD compressors for Automotive air-conditioners.
August Entered a technical collaboration agreement with the Kaiser USA.
1973 March Increased capital by public offering.
August Established a new trade name “Sanden” and listed Sankyo Electric Company’s stocks on the 1st section of Tokyo Stock Exhange.
October Changed the name of Sankyo Sales Co., Ltd. to Sanden Sales Co., Ltd.
1974 November Established Sankyo International Co., Ltd. with a capital of \10 million.
Established Singapore Office of Sankyo International Co., Ltd.
Established Sankyo International (USA) Inc with a capital of US$30,000.
1976 April Increased capital by public offering.
1977 April Increased capital by public offering.
December Established Sankyo International (S) PTE. Ltd. in Singapore with a capital of S$50,000.
1978 February Started producing refrigerating devices for freezer cars.
April Issued German mark-denominated convertible bonds (DM40 million).
August Established Sankyo International (Australia) PTY. Ltd. with a capital of A$50,000.
December Established a British branch of Sankyo International Co., Ltd.
1979 March Issued the first Swiss franc-denominated convertible bonds (CHF 40 million).
October Established Sankyo Denki Denso Co., Ltd. that was to engage in the production of dynamo bicycle lamps with a capital of ¥50 million.

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1980s

It developed a scroll-type compressor for the first time in the world in 1981 and also changed its company name to Sanden Corporation (the same as its brand name) from Sankyo Electric co., Ltd. in 1982. Its head office introduced its “CI” with the completion of the new company building. The company blossomed as an enterprise committed to global competition both in reality and in name. It acquired Vendo Company, the second largest vending machine maker in the United States, in 1988, thereby becoming a global enterprise holding production and sales bases all over the world.


1980 January Established Taiwan Office of Sankyo International Co., Ltd.
Fabuary Issued US dollar-denominated convertible bonds (US$25 million).
April Reorganized a British branch of Sankyo International Co., Ltd. to an overseas subsidiary corporation by the name of Sankyo International (UK) Ltd.
October Established a car-compressor manufacturing plant in Sankyo International (USA).
1981 March Started producing scroll-type compressors for automotive air-conditioners.
September Established Sanden Auto Airconditioning Co., Ltd. in Taiwan with a capital of T$6 million.
December Issued bonds with warrant (total amount of issue for ¥5 billion).
1982 October Established a plant to manufacture compressors for Automotive air-conditioners in Sankyo International (Singapore).
October Changed the name of Sankyo Electric Co., Ltd. and Sankyo International Co., Ltd. to Sanden Corporation and Sanden International Co., Ltd. respectively.
November Newly established a plant for manufacturing food-related machines within a headquarters plant (now the Kotobuki Plant).
1983 June Issued the second Swiss franc-denominated convertible bonds (CHF 50 million).
November Changed the name of Sanden Auto Airconditioning Co., Ltd. to Taiwan-Sanden Co., Ltd.
1984 Febuary Increased capital by public offering.
April Released a new logo mark with the introduction of CI.
April Established joint venture companies in India, Malaysia, and Mexico.
1985 April Started sales of residential central heating and ventilation systems.
1987 May Developed a variable-capacity scroll compressor.
July Established Sanden Logistics Co., Ltd.
August Established Sanden System Engineering Co., Ltd.
1988 Febuary Established P.T. Sanden, Jaya Indonesia.
May Acquired Vendo Company., a US vending machine maker.
June Developed “Deo-fit”, deodorant.
November Awarded a good design prize for a refrigerating showcase and the dynamo bicycle lamp.
1989 August The US Wylie Plant started its operations.
December Established Sanden Refrigeration Thailand as the first overseas showcase producing firm.

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1990s

Environmental issues became an important theme to tackle for Sanden in the approach to the 21st century. The company had been working on the development of a compressor for Automotive air-conditioners that responded to ozone layer destruction problems, and energy-saving type vending machines for which it was awarded a prize by the Director-General of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. Sanden had also addressed environmental issues closer to people on an individual level by developing an automated hand sterilizer and deodorant apparatus. Sanden has been continuously developing products which would make the lives of future generations worldwide more comfortable by retaining the “indomitable spirit” it has created through its ongoing efforts and endeavors.


1990 July Completed Sanden Communication Plaza.
August Entered a Technical Assistance Agreement with General Motors Corporation for open-scroll type compressors for Automotive air-conditioners.
1992 August Established Sanden Teco (Thailand).
1993 Febuary Awarded a prize for a beverage vending machine regenerative type energy-saving system by the Director-General of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
June Established Sanden International China (Hong Kong).
July Entered a Technical Assistance Agreement with Hadsys Corporation for open-scroll type compressors for car air-conditioners.
1994 July Entered a Technical Assistance Agreement with Ford Motors Corporation for open-scroll type compressors for Automotive air-conditioners.
1995 April Established Sanden Manufacturing Europe in France.
August Established Sanden International Philippines.
1996 October The plant in France started its operations.
October Was awarded EPA prize (contribution to ozone layer preservation) by the US Environment Protection Agency.
1997 April Merged with Sanden Sales Co., Ltd., and Sanden International Co., Ltd.
1998 January Acquired ISO14001 certification at head office and Kotobuki Plant.
October Awarded Deming prize (implementation prize).
1999 July Acquired ISO14001 certification at every business base.
November Founder Kaihei Ushikubo, a supreme adviser, passed away.

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2000s

2000 May Received orders for one million units of new-type compressors from General Motors.
June Established a joint venture company with Shanghai EK CHOR General Machinery Co., Ltd.
August Zero-emission was achieved at three domestic plants (Kotobuki, Yattajima, and Sakai Plants).
September Acquired approval for Automotive air-conditioner engineers from Tianjin Automotive Industrial (Group) Co., Ltd. in China.
October Sanden Logistics Co., Ltd., and Sanwatech Co., Ltd. received Deming Prizes.
October Established a Technical Center in Germany.
October Established a charter for safety and health
November Kaihei Ushikubo won a Gunma Resident’s Honor Award.
2001 May Achieved the production of the accumulated number of 100 million compressor units.
Stptember Sanden International Singapore won a SQC prize (Singapore Quality Class Prize).
October Sanden System Engineering Co., Ltd. won a Deming Prize and a Mitsukuratechs TQM Encouragement Prize.
October The Sakai Plant won the President Award by Japan Greenery Research and Development Center.
2002 April Completed Sanden Forest at Akagi Plant.
June Received an order for 10 million units of compressors from Peugeo/Citroen.
October Won a Japan Quality Control Medel.
November Akagi Plant won a “Superior Trendsetting Factories and Offices Award”.
2003 Febuary Prepared an “Environment Learning Program” aiming toward co-existing with nature, capitalizing on Sanden Forest and provided it to elementary schools in the region.
April Started full-fledged expansion of electronic money system business using Edy.
April Washinosuke Amada, a founder and an advisor, passed away.
May Transferred to a new organization. Implemented reinforcement of business management system and enhancement of corporate governance by overhauling management meeting.
May Biomass study session was held at Akagi Plant in a bid to promote biomass utilization in Gunma Prefecture.
May Won a “Japan Industrial Film and Video Contest Encouragement Prize” for a film introducing Sanden Forest.
August Commemorated the 60th year anniversary of the foundation of the company.
September Started supplying compressors for Automotive air-conditioners to Europe Ford (320 thousand units a year).
October The Akagi Plant won the President Award by Japan Greenery Research and Development Center.
November Won a “TPM World Class Prize”.
November Held a worldwide STQM (Sanden Total Quality Management) meeting for the first time where the entire company’s quality control activities were presented.
November Held a “Clean and Green Ecology Meeting” at Akagi Plant with a theme of appreciation for Mount Akagi.
2004 January Established a plant for producing compressors for Automotive air-conditioners in Poland.
February Established Shanghai Sanden Behr and accelerated Automotive air-conditioner businesses in China.
February Won an “Energy Conservation Center Chairman’s Prize” for Cup-method vending machine JBC-2.
April Expanded electronic money business. Introduced Edy system to Saitama Public Pool.
April Akagi Plant won the Greenery Day Minister of the Environment's Prize for Meritorious Service Related to the Natural Environment.
May Established “Shenyang Sanden”, the 4th production plant in China, which supplies Automotive air-conditioners to Chinese automobile makers.
July Started development of multipurpose wireless modems that accept multiple communication methods.
August Developed a Freon-free beverage vending machine using a CO2 refrigerant.
September Launched sales of SANAJET, an odor-elimination device which mists a photo-catalytic titanium dioxide aqueous solution.
2005 January Store Master (a control system that automatically optimizes indoor temperatures and humidity changes for showcases) earned the Award Honoring Excellent Energy-Saving Device.
January Launched sales of Rekuru, a dryer-type garbage disposing device.
March Established SandenVendo America, Inc., a new base for distribution-system business in the US.
June Signed a comprehensive agreement with Waseda University’s Environmental Research Institute, to promote environmental technology development in business-academia collaboration.
July Announced a seismic isolator for indoor vending machines.
September Established a new plant to produce Automotive air-conditioners in Tianjin, China (will start operations in August 2006)
September Akagi Plant won the Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry Director-General Prize, honoring high-quality plantation in a factory.
October Launched Eco-Cute(Heat Pump Hot water Supply System Heat Pumps).
2006 Janualy Established Sanden Shanghai Refrigeration Co., Ltd. and started Commercial Store Systems Business in China.
May Received the “2005 Supplier of the year” from General Motors.
May Received the “Global Excellence Award” from Ford Motors.
June Sanden Manufacturing Poland Sp. z o.o. started commercial production.
October Sanden International America and Sanden International Singapore received the Deming Application Prize.
November Received the 3rd "France-Japan Investment Award"
2007 July Started the food equipment business.
October Masayoshi Ushikubo, a Chairman, received the ‘Deming Prize for Individuals’
November Announced a construction of a new plant in India to expand automotive equipment business.
2008 June Acquired 100% ownership of Mexican corporate joint venture.
September Announced a construction of die-casting plant in China for compressors.
2009 June Started production of electric compressor for first hybrid model of Mercedes-Benz.
December Established Kankyo Mirai Zaidan, a foundation for creating a new business models and developing human resources in environmental field.
2010 April Installed the first Global Standard Model Glass-Fronted Vending Machine in China.
August Total production of compressors reached 200million units.
2011 December Realizes Global Finance System with NEC’s Cloud-oriented Service Solution.
2012 April Sanden International Taiwan receives “Special Contribution Award” by Ford.
May Commemorated the 10th year anniversary of the establishment of the Sanden Forest/ Akagi Plant.
May Sanden International Taiwan receives “Best Quality Award” by Honda.
October Attended COP11 (the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties).
December Established Die-casting plant in Thailand.
2013 February Established Sanden Manufacturing Mexico SA de CV .
April Akagi Plant receives Prime Minister’s Award for Outstanding Merit concerning Greenification Campaigns.
November Poland 2nd Plant is constructed.
November Commercial system business division wins the Deming Award in 2013.
November Wins Japan Quality Encouragement Prize and Quality Innovation Prize.

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