During the final evening of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Annual Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, two trailblazing figures who revolutionized product segments in the equipment manufacturing industry were inducted into AEM’s Hall of Fame: Akio Takeuchi, the visionary behind Takeuchi Manufacturing, and Susanne Cobey, the driving force as president and CEO of Eagle Crusher. Both are credited with spearheading innovative product segments.
“AEM takes great pride in welcoming Susanne Cobey and Akio Takeuchi to our Hall of Fame roster of esteemed industry leaders,” said AEM President Megan Tanel. “They both serve as inspiration for the next generation to cultivate and pursue transformative ideas for the industry and the betterment of all.”
“Akio Takeuchi’s strategic leadership within the compact equipment market, coupled with his attentive approach to customer needs and product development, has notably pioneered a distinct industry segment,” continued Megan Tanel. “Similarly, Susanne Cobey, confronted with challenges in the crusher industry during the 1980s, ingeniously used Eagle Crusher’s technology to spearhead the pavement recycling sector, contributing significantly to concrete and asphalt waste reduction.”
For a full story on both Takeuchi and Cobey, see the announcement video here.
Akio Takeuchi (1933-) Founder, Takeuchi Manufacturing
Akio Takeuchi has been part of the construction equipment industry for six decades. In 1963, at the age of 29, Takeuchi founded Takeuchi Manufacturing. Early on, he learned the value of listening to customers and understanding their needs. When a local business partner asked Takeuchi to create a new machine that would help his employees do their jobs faster, easier, and with less manual labor, he listened. The result was the world’s first compact excavator. Since then, Takeuchi Manufacturing has presented more innovations, including the first offset boom excavator and the first compact track loader.
The Takeuchi Way embraces the spirit of creation, challenge and cooperation. To this day, Takeuchi listens to the ideas and opinions of the people who are closest to the end user. Takeuchi has always recognized the power of teamwork, believing there’s virtually no limit to what dedicated people can accomplish together.
Today, Takeuchi Manufacturing continues to offer equipment designed to make short work of tough jobs. And Takeuchi still believes that when you put your customers’ needs first, sales and profits will follow. He has not only built a solid, quality-driven compact construction equipment company, he has also built a legacy.
Susanne Cobey (1951-) CEO, Eagle Crusher
Susanne Cobey joined Eagle Crusher Company, Inc. in 1970 as Parts Manager, and quickly advanced through multiple ranks to become President and CEO in 1990.
Eagle Crusher has always been a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty crushing and screening equipment. But when significant industry changes in the 1980s impacted Eagle Crusher, Cobey spearheaded the commercial recycling industry in the United States, building the first U.S. commercial recycling plant, Eagle Crusher’s Jumbo 1400, in 1984. Her innovations created a new product line for Eagle Crusher, and a new American industry.
Under Cobey’s bold vision, the plant took crushing to a new level with its abilities to process high volumes of aggregate, concrete, and RAP. These improvements saved innumerable tons of concrete and asphalt from landfills. A whole line of portable horizontal impactor plants soon followed, creating a boon for the aggregate crushing, the recycled concrete, and the RAP markets.
A female pioneer in a male-dominated industry, Cobey has dedicated herself to helping other women in the industry succeed. She has addressed the topic of women in the industry in numerous videos and news articles and serves as a keynote speaker and role model at many commencement addresses. She hopes that her experience inspires a new generation.
The AEM Hall of Fame has been recognizing luminaries in the agriculture and construction equipment manufacturing industry since 1993, and includes such names as Benjamin Holt (Caterpillar), Joseph Cyril Bamford (JCB), Jerome Increase Case (CNH Industrial), John Deere (Deere & Co.), Gus Ramirez (HUSCO International) and Mary Andringa (Vermeer). The induction of Takeuchi and Cobey brings the total number of inductees to 69.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Hall of Fame recognizes the pioneers whose inventions, ideas, leadership and courage have built, fed and powered our modern world. To learn more about the AEM Hall of Fame and its members, visit the website here.
AEM congratulates Mr. Takeuchi and Ms. Cobey and their families on their inclusion into the AEM Hall of Fame in 2023.