Sports car manufacturer concludes £500m Japanese trade deal
Midlands sports car manufacturer Aston Martin has announced a £500m trade deal with Japan.
As part of the deal Aston Martin will purchase components from Japan.
The Warwickshire firm announced the five-year deal during a trade mission to Japan, headed by Prime Minister Theresa May.
It said the deal underlined the importance of the Japanese luxury car market to the manufacturer’s global success.
The deal will see Aston Martin export more than £400m of cars to Japan, in what is hailed as a boost for both its main plant in Gaydon and the new plant in wales manufacturing the company’s first ever crossover SUV.
In a reciprocal arrangement, Aston Martin has agreed to more than £70 million in components from Japanese suppliers including Bridgestone, Denso, Mitsubishi and Yazaki.
It will also establish an Aston Martin Meta Technology and Luxury Accelerator office in Japan – set to open in 2018 – and invest in a flagship global brand centre in Tokyo, a new Aston Martin Japan headquarters and expand its Japanese dealer network.
Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer said: “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.
“This advanced product planning office is being created specifically to tap into research and technologies in the electric and connected car areas as well as the innovations Japan is making in the luxury market.”
Mrs May said that as the UK prepared to leave the EU, it was vital to establish global trade deals.
“Aston Martin is a prime example of the innovative and world leading firms the UK is proud of. (This) £500m deal will directly benefit the Gaydon plant in West Midlands and the St Athan plant in Wales helping safeguard existing jobs and opening new possibilities for future deals with Japan.”