Did you know that Japan is the world’s second largest luxury car market? Aston Martin does and it has just put the ink on a trade deal that it says will be £500m.
Aston Martin has ambitious plans over the next few years, including the launch of a new SUV and an all-electric model, so this strategic move for the British manufacturer comes at the right time.
The deal was announced during a trade visit to Japan by prime minister Theresa May, who is hoping to shore up support for post-Brexit trade deals. She has been under pressure from business leaders to provide reassurance that leaving the European Union and its considerable trading power won't affect UK companies.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer was part of the UK delegation and announced the new deal from Tokyo: 'Japan is key to our future plans as we completely revitalise and expand our product portfolio. 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.'
As part of the deal, Aston Martin will commit to buying up to £70m of components from Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, Bridgestone, Denso and Yazaki as well as establishing a new headquarters in Japan. Palmer also announced the new Aston Martin Meta Technology and Luxury Accelerator office would be built in the country, with the intention of studying the Japanese luxury market and informing future products.
Theresa May said: 'As we prepare to leave the European Union, it is vital that we build on our existing ties with friends and allies. Aston Martin is a prime example of the innovative and world leading firms the UK is proud of and I’m delighted they are joining me on this important trade mission.
'[This] 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.'