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A Short History of Mitsubishi Electric


The Mitsubishi Electric Corporation traces its roots back to the Tsukumo Shokai Shipping Company which was established by an ambitious Japanese businessman named Yataro Iwasaki, in 1870. The company expanded into automotives, mining and stationery, before succumbing to allied forces in WWII and disbanding only to regain market share in post-war Japan and America. Today, the company manufactures the world’s most advanced air conditioning and HVAC units, which Conditioned Environment proudly supply and install throughout London.

Before Mitsubishi Electric

Yataro Iwasaki’s shipping company started life as Tsukumo Shokai Shipping Company in 1870 and changed its name to Mitsukawa Shokai in 1872. Two years later the company changed its name again, this time to Mitsubishi Mail Steamship.

The distinctive Mitsubishi logo was first created at this time to reflect the company’s name which translates to ‘three diamonds’. The logo is still used to this day and is as recognisable as the Mitsubishi name.


The beginning

The Mitsubishi Electric Corporation’s story begins in 1921, when the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company diversified and built a factory in Kobe, Japan to manufacture electric motors for ocean-going vessels. They called this new arm of the business the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.


1920s – 1970s

As early as the 1920s, Mitsubishi were leading the way with air recirculation technology. It wasn’t air conditioning they were pioneering, however. Their first product was a simple desk fan. This humble appliance was a hit with domestic consumers at home in the hot, humid climate of Japan. The company then used the revenue from their desk fan sales to produce more electricals, including escalators, lifts, televisions and – later in the century – computer products.


Mitsubishi Electric have the distinction of being the only manufacturer of spiral escalators in the world. They installed the first spiral escalator in 1985 and have since built 103 in Japan, China and the USA. They’ve gone on to install the world’s largest spiral escalator at the New World Daimaru Department Store in Shanghai, China which spans twelve stories.


The 90s was a decade of innovation at Mitsubishi, and 1994 was a landmark year for air conditioning technology. It was in this year that Mitsubishi released the world’s first energy-saving household air conditioner. The US Environmental Protection Agency gave Mitsubishi the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for their achievement. In 1999, Mitsubishi completed and commenced operation of the first household appliance recycling plant at Higashihama.

2000s and beyond

Success with industry awards continued into the noughties with the company being awarded the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation Chairman’s Prize at the 2007 National Commendation for Invention Awards. Mitsubishi won the award for their work in recycling existing refrigerant piping for use with new air conditioning units.

In 2012, Mitsubishi developed automatic dismantling equipment that makes the retrieval of rare earth magnets from used air conditioners quicker, more affordable and sustainable. They continue this process to the present day at Green Cycle Systems Corporation.

In 2016, Mitsubishi further expanded its air conditioning division to Turkey and established the Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Manufacturing Turkey company. The production line is set to make thousands of units per year from January 2018.

Conditioned Environment have a wealth of experience providing the highest quality heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems throughout London. Our dedicated team also install underfloor heating systems for commercial premises, so your customers will never go cold on a winter’s night. To complement our range of modern heating systems, we also supply and fit emergency backup systems, fire suppression systems, HVAC and air conditioning systems from leading manufacturers like Mitsubishi Electric. Contact our friendly team today to find out more about any of our services.