Aston Martin seals £500m technology deal with Japan

Posted on 1 Sep 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Aston Martin Lagonda has announced it will drive trade and investment between the United Kingdom and Japan worth up to £500m over the next five years.

The cooperation between Japan and Aston Martin is being created specifically to tap into research and technologies – image courtesy of Aston Martin

The trade and investment created by Aston Martin signals the importance of the Japanese luxury car market to the British car maker.

The UK  company is currently evaluating Industrial Internet technologies in a series of technical partnerships, such as the accuracy and performance of GPS receivers and interference monitoring – a crucial requirement for the development of location-enabled automotive technology.

The cooperation with Japan is being created specifically to tap into research and technologies in electric and connected car areas as well as the innovations Japan is making in the luxury market, according to Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin president and chief executive officer.

The company will export cars from the UK (Gaydon and St Athan plants) worth over £400m, boosted by new sports cars and the introduction of the company’s first Sports Utility Vehicle.

In return, Aston Martin will be buying more than £70m in components from Japanese suppliers including Bridgestone, Denso, Mitsubishi and Yazaki.

The British car maker will also open an Aston Martin Meta Technology and Luxury Accelerator office in Japan in 2018, and invest in a flagship global brand centre in Tokyo, a new Aston Martin Japan headquarter to further growth the Aston Martin dealer network across Japan.

Palmer said: “Last week we unveiled our half yearly results, which saw Aston Martin register its third successive quarter of pre-tax profit. Our improving performance reflects rising demand for our new and special products.

“As the world’s second largest luxury car market, Japan is key to our future plans as we completely revitalise and expand our product portfolio under our Second Century plan.

“We have long enjoyed a loyal following from Japanese customers and the public alike, with our new dealership in Tokyo set to become our largest worldwide by volume.

“To ensure we are focused on the needs of Japanese and Asian customers, we are creating a Meta Technology and Luxury Accelerator office in Tokyo, reporting directly to HQ, to develop insights into luxury customer behaviour in Asia.”

Between now and the conclusion of the Second Century plan in 2022, Aston Martin sales will more than double, making Japan one of the companies top five global markets by volume.

The car maker currently exports a range of four sports cars to Japan including the new DB11 model. In late 2019, the company will introduce a sports utility vehicle built at the company’s second manufacturing facility at St Athan in Wales.

More than 80% of Aston Martin production is exported, a figure set to increase as it grows sales overseas, particularly in the United States and Asia.