Transportation and Construction Systems

Business Unit Overview

Construction equipment Construction equipment

We are advancing our upstream, midstream, and downstream operations in the areas of ships, aircraft, railway, automobiles, and other transportation systems as well as construction equipment. In the ship, aerospace & transportation systems field, we run a leasing business focused on aircraft. We are also the only shipyard shareholder among Japanese trading companies and operate ships that we own and jointly own as well. In the automotive field, we are expanding and enhancing the major functions served by our value chain in areas such as manufacturing, sales and distribution, and lease and financing. In the construction equipment field, we have the highest transaction volume of construction equipment among trading companies. In addition to our worldwide equipment sales business, we focus on expanding our rental business for construction equipment and repair-maintenance service operation for mining equipment.

Strategic Fields in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Automobile and tyres
  • Aircraft leasing
  • Construction and mining equipment
  • Industrial and agricultural machinery
  • Diesel generator

Business Overview in Sub-Saharan Africa

Support for local dealers Support for local dealers
  • Supply of automobiles (since 1960s)
  • Supply of construction and mining equipment (since 1960s)
  • Leasing of A319 and B737 to South African Airways and Comair (since 2009)

Sumitomo Corporation’s global successes

Developing our construction equipment rental business in the growing US market

Rental construction equipment from Sunstate Equipment being transported to a customer Rental construction equipment from Sunstate Equipment

Our construction equipment business has a long history that goes back to the late 1950s. In the 1990s we grew this business by acquiring local dealership operations mainly in Europe and US. In 2008, we invested US$50 million in a leading US construction equipment rental company, Sunstate Equipment, a move which gave us much greater access to the world’s largest construction equipment rental market. While the US has the world’s largest equipment rental market, the rental equipment usage ratio is still lower than in Japan and the UK, pointing to significant room for market growth. Given this outlook, we took a controlling stake in Sunstate Equipment at the end of 2012, aiming to reinforce our earnings base.

Supporting air transportation through aircraft and aircraft engine leasing


Demand for aircraft is expected to grow steadily in the aviation market, as the growth of emerging markets boosts airline passenger traffic and low-cost carriers come to the fore. We have been engaged in the aircraft leasing business since the 1990s. In 2012, a consortium comprising Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company Limited; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; and Sumitomo Corporation acquired from the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc aircraft leasing businesses, which were known as RBS Aviation Capital and are currently named SMBC Aviation Capital (SMBC AC). Since then the consortium has integrated SMBC AC with its existing businesses and has been developing the company. SMBC AC is now the world’s fourth largest aircraft leasing company. Also, in 2013 we started to provide aircraft-engine-related services, including engine leasing with MTU Aero Engines AG of Germany, a leading aircraft engine manufacturer and maintenance service provider. By leveraging these business foundations and working with partners, we are expanding value chains, supporting commercial aviation infrastructure, and helping to make countries worldwide more accessible.