2019 looks set to be the year when western automotive tech companies ramp up their focus on expansion in East Asia even further – with three new clients for us in the field. We’re helping British firm OxTS, Germany’s LSP and Sweden’s NIRA Dynamics grow their businesses in the region.
Although East Asia is renowned for being difficult to break into, it’s a vehicle market western firms can’t afford to ignore. China is the world’s biggest car market, with more than 22 million vehicles sold last year. Japan ranked third with 5.3 million sales.
China’s also leading the charge on autonomous vehicle development, thanks to full government backing and on-road trials under way in Shanghai, Beijing and many of its other major cities. The country expects smart cars with some autonomous functions to account for half of new vehicles sold by 2020.
With its HQ in Oxfordshire, OxTS specialises in inertial positioning systems for automotive testing. Its technology is used worldwide for vehicle dynamics analysis, validating advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) sensors and developing self-driving cars.
The company is already active in China but sees huge further potential in the country over the next five years and has recognised the need for a presence on the ground.
We’re assessing the regulatory framework in China for OxTS, identifying primary areas of opportunity, engaging major prospects in technical and commercial discussions, supporting the company’s distributors and helping it hire its first employees in China.
Alison Smith, Commercial Director at OxTS, said: “We see huge opportunity in China as local companies and JVs invest in autonomous and ADAS developments. To enable us to support our customers, we need to understand the market better and provide local support for end-users. Intralink are helping us with a comprehensive market assessment and providing a local facility from which we’re able to acquire trained support technicians in China.”
LSP Innovative Automotive Systems, based in Munich, was established by Heinz Lieber — widely regarded as the ‘father of anti-lock braking systems (ABS)’ — and his son, Thomas.
LSP is developing technology which it describes as the ‘future of braking’ and is significantly lighter, smaller and more effective than existing systems.
We’re busy securing licensees for its intellectual property amongst Tier 1 automotive component manufacturers in Japan and raising the company’s profile with vehicle OEMs to generate the necessary ‘pull’ demand.
NIRA Dynamics develops smart tyre management software which increases road safety and achieves a smoother ride. With its HQ in Linköping, Sweden, its approach is unique as it extracts accurate ‘tyre health’ information from the wealth of data today’s vehicles already process, rather than requiring additional sensors. Its technology is used in Europe by VW, Audi, Seat, Fiat, Skoda and Volvo.
We’ve been appointed as NIRA’s sales team in Japan – a strategic market for automotive software and hardware suppliers that’s notoriously challenging. Our Tokyo team is engaging Japanese auto OEMs and looking to replicate the kind of success the company enjoys in Europe.
To discuss any projects to expand in East Asia’s automotive sector, contact Thomas Shiekman on Thomas.Shiekman@intralinkgroup.com.