Company Profile

Find out more about the beginning of Sanden, as well as key product developments and Sanden’s journey to become a global automotive market leader.



Established in 1943 by Kaihei Ushikubo, Sanden began as a manufacturer of dynamo bicycle lamps, after identifying a gap in the market during World War II. Formerly known as Sankyo Electric Company, the business became known for slogans such as ‘second sight in the night’, and a distinctive owl trademark.

During the 1950s, Sankyo Electric Company entered the home electric appliance market, and from there began producing refrigeration machines, initially for business use. This became a major turning point in the history of Sanden.

By 1970, Sankyo Electric Company had started to produce air conditioning compressors for automotive, and a few years later, introduced the Scroll-type automotive compressor into the market. With this pivotal development came a new corporate identity – Sanden.

As Sanden continued to go from strength to strength, it opened European and U.S based offices all over the world. In addition, bases for logistics and manufacturing were established in Europe. By the year 2000, Sanden had become a major player in the manufacturing of automotive compressors and vending machines.

Sanden’s fundamental founding spirit, ‘Let us develop with wisdom and prosper in harmony’, has grown and developed with Sanden over the years, but remains the same in its promise to pioneer change in order to win prosperity for all.