As a business owner, you need to know that the equipment you purchase is well built and reliable. Product branding and corporate mergers can make it difficult to determine if the products you are purchasing are manufactured by a reputable company. Knowing where the equipment is manufactured as well as who owns the brand means you can feel confident in the soundness of your purchase and be assured of customer service.
Echo chainsaws are manufactured by Echo Incorporated, a subsidiary of the Yamabiko Corporation, which is headquartered in Japan. Over 200 Echo-brand products are manufactured in Lake Zurich, Illinois and are distributed globally.
The Kioritz Corporation, originally under a different name, was formed when Japanese engineers developed several types of chemical spreaders used to eradicate pests on crops following World War II. Production of a variety of hand-held spreaders and backpack-style blowers and cutters continued as the company grew.
By the 1960s, the first chainsaw bearing the Echo brand name was produced, and many subsequent product models began to achieve global recognition. In fact, in 1965, the model CS-802 was the first chainsaw to utilize anti-vibration technology, which reduced the amount of vibration that would be transferred from the saw to the user.
As the Japanese company continued to grow, it expanded its operation by opening the Kioritz Corporation of America in 1972 in Northbrook, Illinois as an importer of its products from Japan. By 1978, the company changed its name to Echo Incorporated and switched gears to focus on the engineering and production aspects of selling hand-held outdoor power tools.
The first product it manufactured was a grass trimmer, and production grew to include chainsaws, hedge trimmers, brush cutters and both hand-held and backpack blowers.
With continued growth, the Echo Corporation built new facilities and moved its operation to Lake Zurich, Illinois. Today, the company's campus consists of several buildings including the corporate headquarters, manufacturing plants and warehouse facilities.
Equipment is manufactured from parts originating from both domestic and foreign sources. The company produces approximately 200 types of equipment and 17,000 aftermarket products.
Echo products are available through a network of distribution channels, and its products are sold in over 90 countries. In the United States, consumers can purchase products from local authorized Echo dealers who obtain their merchandise directly from Echo distributors. There are currently 10 distributors that supply approximately 6,600 independent dealers throughout the country.
The company also enjoys brand exposure through its relationship with Home Depot. In 1994, Echo began selling its professional-grade equipment directly to the home consumer in Home Depot's stores, both on-site and online. Products are available in Home Depots in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
In 2008, another Japanese manufacturer of outdoor power tools and agricultural machinery, Shindaiwa Incorporated, merged with the Kioritz Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Echo Incorporated, to become Yamabiko Corporation.
Echo Incorporated is currently the largest subsidiary of Yamabiko and maintains its own entity. In addition to its focus on manufacturing and sales, it also serves as a distributor of Shindaiwa products throughout the Americas. It is also the largest manufacturing plant within the group of companies.
Ultimately, despite whatever changes have occurred at the corporate level, the Echo brand has always remained consistent. Throughout the U.S., the company has been a leader in producing and selling professional-grade outdoor power equipment for both commercial and home use. Reviews and side-by-side product tests by Popular Mechanics and industry professionals tout Echo products as well made and reliable, qualities that should make any buyer feel secure.