Kawasaki’s origins go back to 1878, when Shozo Kawasaki established Kawasaki Tsukiji Shipyard in Tokyo. Eighteen years later, in 1896, it was incorporated as Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd.
The Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group manufactures a vast array of products that demonstrate technological mastery of the land, sea, air and outer space. Its aerospace business offers various products ranging from aircraft to satellites, while the shipbuilding business provides LNG and LPG carriers, submarines and other vessels. Japan’s Shinkansen trains and New York City’s subway cars are just two examples of its rolling stock business’ famed global offerings, just as gas turbines and biomass power plants headline the energy plant and facilities business. The Group also supplies many products that demonstrate its expertise in engineering, such as industrial plants, environmental protection facilities, industrial equipment, construction machinery and steel structures.
The Group’s unique ability to cover a broad range of businesses is also demonstrated by such world famous consumer products as Kawasaki-brand motorcycles, ATVs, Mule utility vehicles and Jet Ski® personal watercraft.
The Kawasaki story
Began in Australia in the mid-1960’s with state based private distributors. One of the original South Australian and Northern Territory distributors was Bolton’s Kawasaki who today remains an integral part of the Kawasaki dealership network.
Kawasaki Japan took over the distribution of Kawasaki products in Victoria and opened a new Head Office there in 1975 under the registered business name of Kawasaki Motors Pty Ltd. Over the next 6 years the private distributors were replaced with a dealer network.
In the early 1980’s Kawasaki moved the head office from Melbourne to Sydney (63-65 Burrows St., Alexandria). The move to Sydney saw the creation of a truly national Head Office with spare parts, distribution and computer systems all in one location. In March 1986 the move was made to the current location in Rydalmere, NSW.
Kawasaki unveiled its own branded Kawasaki Extended Warranty and Kawasaki Insurances programs in 2010. In 2011 Kawasaki brought the benefits of competitive retail finance rates and fast approvals to its growing dealer network with the creation of KMF (Kawasaki Motors Finance).
Kawasaki has won numerous racing accolades in Australia. Team Kawasaki Australia was the dominant team in Australian road racing in the mid-1970s with riders Ron Toombs, Murray Sayle (employed at Kawasaki Motors, Rydalmere to this day), Gregg Hansford and Rick Perry riding the Green Meanies; firstly the H2R and later the KR750. The KR250 and KR350 turned the world green from 1978 to 1982 with Kork Ballington’s multiple World Championships.
Locally the 900 Super 4 Model Z1 was the dominant production racer in the Castrol 6 Hour Race; winning 5 times and podium placing 10 times. Kawasaki has claimed many Australian Superbike championships including back to back championships in 1991 & 1992 (Aaron Slight & Mat Mladin respectively) and 1997 & 1998 (Marty Craggill). Kawasaki won Australian Supersport championships in 1996 (Kevin Curtain), 1998 (Damon Buckmaster) and 1999 (Andrew Pitt).
With the release of four-stroke Kawasaki KX motocross bikes in 2004 came a wealth of championship success including back to back Australian MX Opens championships in 2006 & 2007 (Daniel Reardon), SX Opens championships in 2007 and 2010 (Daniel Reardon and Josh Hansen respectively) and the 2005 SX Lites and 2008 MX Lites championships (Daniel Reardon and Luke George respectively). Kawasaki also claimed the Australian Offroad Championship crown in 2009 (Toby Price).
Kawasaki joined forces with globally renowned energy drink Monster Energy to create the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team in 2011.
Kawasaki Motors Pty Ltd has a network of 138 dealerships that employ over 1000 people selling the range of Kawasaki Jet Ski watercraft, Kawasaki Mule Utility Vehicles, Kawasaki Teryx, Kawasaki ATV and Kawasaki Motorcycles. Also available in Australia, through a distribution network, is a range of Kawasaki Power Products.
Kawasaki Motors Pty Ltd supports the growth of the industry in Australia through operator training and supplies DECA (Driver Education Centre of Australia) with Learner Approved Motorcycles. The Kawasaki Learner Approved range of motorcycles are fun, stylish and highly desirable as proven with the Ninja 250R’s status of Australia’s favourite/highest selling LAMS bike for multiple years since its debut in 2009, the same year Kawasaki celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Ninja brand around the world. 2012 also marks 40 years since the release of the famous Z1motorcycle. Kawasaki will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the “Z” brand and model designation in 2012.
Kawasaki Motors Pty Ltd continues to grow in Australia offering a range of products that are a class apart.