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Nissan's Supplier Companies in the 240Z Era


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A picture in another thread posted today shows an electrical relay (rear window defroster, I think) with the manufacturer's name ('JIDECO') stamped on the side of the cover.  I didn't recognize that company, but figured that the 'J' maybe stood for 'Japan' and the 'ECO'  for 'Electric Company'.  The 'I' and the 'D' were a puzzle, though, so I did a bit of on-line searching.  The answer lay in the corporate website of another Japanese manufacturer, 'Mitsuba' (wiper motors) that came up in some of the hits I got using, 'Japan + company + JIDECO' as my search string.  Hiding in the 'History' page on Mitsuba's site was this entry:

2007:  The Jidosha Denki Kogyo Co., Ltd. (Jideco) merged with Mitsuba. 

A bit more poking around revealed that Jidosha Denki's old website was www.jideco.co.jp.  However, that site now just shows a message saying that Mitsuba and Jidosha Denki have 'merged' and providing  links to the Mitsuba website.

An old Bloomberg listing for Jidosha Denki said that they manufactured wipers, power windows and power lock systems and provided a single address: 1760 Higashi-Matanocho, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 245-8510 Japan.

So they were probably located not too far from the Nissan assembly plant in Yokohama.

Entering that address into Google Maps shows that it's now listed as, 'Mitsuba Corporation Yokohama R&D Centre'.  Street view shows us what the former Jidosha Denki h/q looks like today:


Hard to tell whether there's any manufacturing facilities at the back of the property.  The front part looks like strictly admin and engineering.  The back part may just be lab space.

Digging back into Jidosha Denki's history, I found this not-happy story from 1998 in a business trade newspaper:

"Jidosha Denki Kogyo has unveiled plans to restructure its operations and those of its subsidiaries, a move which will result in the company's workforce being reduced by 30% to 700 staff by 2000. The company plans to close down three subsidiaries, with production being switched to overseas bases in India, China and Indonesia. The restructuring will leave the company to provide wiper systems, control devices and motors in Japan... Jidosha Denki Kogyo will move all of its mass production of motors for power windows and windscreen wipers to subsidiaries in the Philippines and China for its products to be more cost-competitive to its main client, Nissan Motor. Jidosha Denki Kogyo's two Japanese plants will stop production of these products by March 2002, and will specialise instead in making prototypes and some spare parts, and in assembling complete wiper units."

Then in 2002:
"Jidosha Denki Kogyo (JIDECO) will have a 35.8% stake acquired by fellow electric motors and wiper systems maker, Mitsuba, affiliate of Honda. JIDECO will issue 15 mil third-party shares on 07 January 2003 as part of the deal. The companies hope that the deal will enable them to improve their cost competitiveness by working together on purchasing, product development and manufacturing. The deal will result in Nissan and Hitachi reducing their stakes in JIDECO to 14.6% and 13.8% respectively."
And in 2004:
"Jidosha Denki Kogyo, automobile control parts maker, will invest around Y500 mil to restart production at its plant in Tomioka in Japan's Gunma Prefecture. It stopped production at the plant in 2002, but has now decided to use the plant as a major site to improve production technology. It has installed a new assembly line for seat-use operations, which is already in operation; and will transfer another such line from its plant in Kikugawa by September 2004. By March 2005, it will transfer a line for motors used in power windows from Kikugawa to Tomioka."
And, finally, this, from the Mitsuba 2006 Annual Report:
"The Company has decided to merge with its wholly owned subsidiary Jidosha Denki Kogyo Co., Ltd., effective April 1, 2007. The Company and Jidosha Denki Kogyo, having been closely working, have agreed on the merger to enhance their synergy as an integrated group and seek greater management efficiency. The Company will be the "surviving entity" under the provisions of Japanese Corporate Law following the absorption and merger of Jidosha Denki Kogyo Co., Ltd. and its subsequent dissolution."
And that was the end of JIDECO.
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On 2/11/2021 at 7:07 AM, Namerow said:


Then in 2002:
"Jidosha Denki Kogyo (JIDECO) will have a 35.8% stake acquired by fellow electric motors and wiper systems maker, Mitsuba, affiliate of Honda. JIDECO will issue 15 mil third-party shares on 07 January 2003 as part of the deal. The companies hope that the deal will enable them to improve their cost competitiveness by working together on purchasing, product development and manufacturing. The deal will result in Nissan and Hitachi reducing their stakes in JIDECO to 14.6% and 13.8% respectively."

@Namerow  As it relates to Nissan - circa 1926 and William R. Gotham.  You might enjoy this book: - William R. Gotham: An American Engineer in Japan. (get the hard copy for study/reference - and the digital copy to read etc - all for less than $20 Bucks)



After finishing five years at Tobata Foundry, in Taisho 15 (1926) he (Mr. Gorham..cjb) was transferred to
Tokyo to become Chief Engineer at the Toa Denki KK. This firm was later to be
amalgamated with the Tobata Foundry Company and the Tobata Foundry Company itself was
renamed in Showa 10 (1935) as Kokusan Kogyo KK/ National Industrial Production
Company. This [Toa Denki KK] was an existing firm that was taken over by Mr.
AYUKAWA’s Kyoritsu Kigyo. It was Mr. YAMAMOTO Soji who had taken care of the
preliminary investigations [with respect to Mr. Gorham’s transfer]. Not only was the aim to
improve the products currently being produced, but also to produce electrical equipment to be
used on automobiles sometime in the future. This was the ultimate purpose for which Mr.
YAMAMOTO was to take over the management.
At the time concerned, this firm [Toa Denki KK] primarily concentrated on electrical
communication machinery, but was also building drills, grinders and other electrical tools.
The first President was Mr. NERI-I Kikuma, who formerly served as Chief of the Electrical
Bureau of the Ministry of Communication. When the management of Toa Denki KK had run
into problems, Mr. AYUKAWA stepped in to help them out, after which time Toa Denki KK
was to prosper significantly. Although it is understood that this was because management was
doing a fine job, everyone realized that the strengths of Mr. Gorham, when added to this
played a significant role. (Toa Denki KK was later amalgamated by the Hitachi Seisakusho
KK, but the President for many years was Mr. MURAKAMI Shosuke. Mr. Gorham was to
help Mr. MURAKAMI cooperate with him fully and establish the foundations of the firm.)
Mr. Gorham had already become fully conversant with Japan’s national situation. At the same
time, compared to the Tobata Foundry experience, he was restricted very little and was able to
exercise his personal methodology with amazing results. The following are the primary
accomplishments of Mr. Gorham: the upgrading of the hand-operated telephone exchange to
an automated telephone exchange, improvements to the motor drills and motor grinders, and
the design and production of air-driven riveting hammers and iron mine rock-crushing
machines. In addition, he was to contribute significantly to increases in production and
Mr. Gorham was well renowned for the breadth and depth of his academic and
technical knowledge. During his university days he had graduated with a degree in electrical
engineering, thus it goes without saying that his knowledge in this area was extremely deep
and he was particularly adept at improving the manufacture of electrically operated tools. As a
result, the electrical tools produced by Toa Denki KK were extremely well received and came
to be a favorite in the market. In particular, Toa Denki KK’s electric drills and grinders had
already established a reputation as the best in Japan, and they continue their reputation to this
day under the name of Hitachi drills and grinders.
In addition, Mr. Gorham applied himself to the production of electrical equipment for
automobiles and built, among other things, an advanced starting motor and ignition coil. As
regards the manufacture of electrical equipment for automobiles, his deep knowledge, broad
experience and accumulation of many years on the job all tended to contribute to this
achievement. There was nothing he did not know about automobiles. Although the gasoline
engine was his crowning achievement, electricity was something he learned professionally and
he had an established reputation for his knowledge of machinery in general. It was only
natural that he would experience brilliant success at Toa Denki KK (Because of Mr.
Gorham’s deep devotion to the improvement and production of electrical tools, Japan’s own
electrical tools did not suffer any degradation when compared with the best of imported
equipment. At the time, they became designated purchase products of the Army and Navy
Ministries, as well as the Railroad Ministry. Further, these products were eventually to replace
imported products in the general market.)
Carl B.
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Thanks, Carl.  I was aware of Gorham's story (maybe by way of David Halberstam's book) but never though to search out his book.  Thanks for the info.

Earlier in my career, I had the good fortune to be able to spend a lot of time in South Korea during the 1980's -- a time when their auto industry (and the country in general for that matter) was just beginning to take real shape.  There was energy in the air everywhere (along with a lot of garlic LOL).  I expect there were a lot of parallels between Korea then and what the Japanese auto industry looked and felt like during the 1950's and early 1960's.  The young Korean engineers I met were super-eager but a bit shy and hesitant when dealing with visiting tech specialists like me.  I remember one of them telling me that he hoped that his company (I won't say which one, but they were largely known for trucks and buses at the time) would become the Porsche of the Far East.  That didn't quite happen and the company went through some major hardships, but the brand has eventually emerged as a success and is marketed worldwide.

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