Hong Kong — February 24, 2009 — The Unicla Compressor Company, which relocated from Japan to China following the death of its iconic founder, Mr Tetsuo Nobata, is now totally controlled by a private consortium made up of two of his long time friends and associates.
|Tetsuo Nobata (Deceased)|
Mr Peter Yee, the automotive industrialist who engineered the purchase of Unicla from the Nobata family, who had shut down the plant in Komaki in 2005, managed the move and re-establishment of the entire manufacturing equipment to China with the help of a public company partnership.
The public company has now been bought out, and Unicla is back in the hands of Mr Yee, head of International Auto Engineering Limited and Australian air conditioning and refrigeration expert, Mr Mark Mitchell, whose company SCA-Australia is a major importer of AC equipment as well as Australasian wholesaler of Unicla compressors.
Unicla’s three directors are Mr Yee, Mr Mitchell and Ms Joan Yee, an economics graduate of Berkeley University USA.
The three have set Unicla on a determined course of product advancement in the existing range of compressors and have already begun research and development on new alternative drive models such as electric and hydraulic power. Unicla is known for its high performance large compressors which are used in military, bus and coach and mining applications in various parts of the world.
The Unicla technology was developed over the past 40 years by Mr Nobata and his team in Japan.
At the time of his death in 2005, Unicla had become Japan’s last remaining independent designer and manufacturer of vehicle AC compressors.
In earlier days, the company had an enviable reputation as a manufacturer of thousands of different compressor kits and mobile air conditioning parts for almost every make of vehicle.
One of Mr Nobata’s main legacies was the world’s first 14 cylinder swashplate compressor, and heavy duty compressors light enough to be carried by one person, but powerful enough to be fitted to buses and coaches.
Some of Mr Nobata’s original key design experts, including Mr Kato (Design Director) and Mr Yano (Production Director) have stayed with the new company, ensuring a smooth transition of the Japanese technology to a plant on mainland China. Unicla’s international headquarters is in Hong Kong.
Both Mr Yee and Mr Mitchell have enjoyed long business and personal relationships with Mr Nobata.
Companies in Mr Yee’s International Auto Engineering Group manufacture and service fuel injection and supercharging products and have also distributed Unicla products exclusively in Hong Kong and China for the past 26 years.
Mr Mitchell’s relationship with Unicla comes a full circle with his decision to buy into the company. After representing Unicla in Australia and South East Asia for many years, he developed a close relationship with Mr Nobata, providing him with valuable technical input into the design process.
“Having worked with Unicla technology for about 30 years, both Mr Yee and myself have great faith in the product. We are happy with our investment decision, and Mr Nobata would be proud of the fact that his technologies live on, in the hands of those who encouraged and worked with him to develop and improve them,” said Mr Mitchell.
In their new roles, Mr Yee is Managing Director and Mr Mitchell will supervise global marketing and contribute to technical innovation and field testing.
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