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The Unicla Story​

Trusted to cool the world’s toughest vehicles.

Unicla is a respected name in mobile equipment compressor design and manufacture that was first established in Japan in 1964.

Led by innovative industrialist and mobile air-conditioning pioneer, Mr Tetsuo Nobata, Unicla has grew from humble beginnings to a leading innovator and supplier of mobile AC systems and components, to now manufacturing compressors for systems in some of the world’s most well-known brands of earthmoving machines, mining equipment, military vehicles and refrigerated trailers.

Success is a team effort

With a head office in Hong Kong, a manufacturing plant in China, and an R&D centre in Australia, Unicla has a global reach but remains a small, privately-owned business with technical support that is second to none. The company has continued to grow sustainably for over six decades by valuing long term partnerships and
manufacturing excellence.

These business relationships are so ingrained in the fabric of the Unicla story that they have been crystallised in a book by Unicla Director Mark Mitchell.

Unicla and the Midnight Technician is a colourful story about the fascinating people who helped shape the vehicle air conditioning and transport refrigeration technology we now take for granted. 

Find out more about the book here.

The Rolex of compressors

Universally acknowledged for its robust compressor design and manufacture, Unicla compressors are thoughtfully designed to perform consistently under challenging conditions.

Technicians who fit and service Unicla compressors find them straightforward, reliable and incredibly tough, and easy to service even during those remote midnight call outs.

This attention to detail in the design of the compressor is at the heart of Unicla’s success, and we remain true to Mr Nobata’s original vision of designing practical, high quality products that work brilliantly.

Key milestones

  • 1958 – Mr Nobata starts his motor repair shop in Komaki, Japan
  • 1964 – The company expands into the new brand Universal Cooler (Unicla), taking over all air conditioning activities
  • 1973 – Unicla Australia established in Sydney, followed by a USA outlet in Dallas Texas two years later
  • 1981 – Unicla wins major global OEM contracts with Honda, Mitsubishi, Carrier, Spheros, Webasto and Sigma
  • 1993 – All compressors switch to R134a to meet global environmental trends
  • 2000 – New compressor models are designed for the booming transport refrigeration market
  • 2006 – After Mr Nobata’s death, Peter Yee and Mark Mitchell form Unicla International and establish manufacturing plants in China and Singapore
  • 2014 – Unicla celebrates 50 years after opening a fully-equipped R&D centre in Australia
  • 2018 – Prototype eDrive compressors are completed in response to the trend toward electric vehicles
  • 2022 – The eDrive is launched to an international audience, offering unconventional engineering for exceptional performance, reliability and efficiency.