Scottish distributor secures beer and spirits export deal

UK-Japan News April 2018

One of Scotland’s most established exporters of craft beer and spirits J.W. Filshill International Limited has secured a Japanese export deal. The contract is worth £100,000 and involves four import partners, according to a press release issued on 4 April.

The distributor’s exports include those by such craft distillers as Summerhall, Orkney and Glasgow, as well as craft brewers Williams Brothers, West Beer and Filshill’s own Clan Brewing Co.

Filshill has enabled 20 craft distillers to export a total of 35 products to Japan.

Japan joins Cumbria marmalade festival

UK-Japan News April 2018

The Marmalade Festival at Dalemain, near Penrith, Cumbria, has attracted 2,700 entries from more than 30 countries, including Japan, where the preserve is popular, the BBC reported on 18 March.

Visitors to the festival included a delegation from Japan, with the Mayor of Yawatahama, Ehime Prefecture, announcing plans to host a sister festival in his home city in 2019.

“I look forward to seeing the ways in which this festival will be both a showcase of Japanese–British friendship, and a wonderfully unique Japanese event”, said the festival’s founder Jane Hasell-McCosh.

Scots seafood nets national promotion

UK-Japan News April 2018

Japan’s largest supermarket chain Aeon Co., Ltd. will be arranging Scottish-themed tasting promotions at about 90 of its stores across Japan, Undercurrent News reported on 29 March.

The promotion will showcase various types of Scottish seafood, including Mirinboshi mackerel, lightly salted mackerel, lightly dried mackerel, brown crab and whole langoustine. This will mark the first time AEON has expanded its Scottish range beyond mackerel by including shellfish.

Previous figures show that Scottish seafood exports to Japan increased from £3.7mn in 2015 to £5.4mn in 2016.

Cherry blossom trees to be planted across Britain

UK-Japan News April 2018

Japanese individuals and firms have set a goal to plant 1,000 cherry blossom trees across parks in Britain as part of a fundraising project meant to symbolise bilateral friendship between the two countries, The Japan Times reported on 28 March.

The initial plan is to plant between 50 and 60 trees in four major parks in London next autumn.

“We want to honour the Japanese and the British predecessors who built cultural ties between our countries”, said the creator of the project Sandy K. Sano.

Firm to buy stake in North Sea wind project

UK-Japan News April 2018

Mitsubishi Corporation will acquire a 33.4% stake in Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) (MOWEL) in an agreement with Spanish energy company EDP Renewables S.A., Power Technology reported on 27 March.

The wind project is scheduled to begin construction later this year and to be commissioned in 2022. It is expected to be capable of supplying power to 1mn households.

The shares will be bought through Mitsubishi’s UK-based subsidiary Diamond Generating Europe.

Economy to benefit from Rugby World Cup

UK-Japan News April 2018

According to professional services firm EY, the 2019 Rugby World Cup will boost Japan’s economy by £1.5bn, CITY A.M. reported on 21 March.

It is estimated that the World Cup will create 25,000 jobs and attract 400,000 visitors to the country for the 44-day tournament. Tourists are expected to contribute £720mn in direct expenditure across the 12 host cities.

“The findings of the report outline the enormous economic, sporting and social benefits of Rugby World Cup 2019”, said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont CBE DL.

Azuma trains arrive in UK

UK-Japan News April 2018

Two new Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. trains have arrived in Teesport, Middlesbrough, completing a two-month journey from Japan, Railway Technology Magazine reported on 21 March.

The five-car trains will form part of Virgin Trains’ new Azuma fleet, which will consist of 65 trains and provide an additional 12,200 seats in total.

The Azuma trains have the potential to reduce travel time on the east coast and increase through services from London to Bradford, Harrogate and Lincoln.

Scot receives karate title

UK-Japan News April 2018

Jim Wood MBE from West Fife, Scotland, has been awarded the Shihan title—one of the highest honours—from the Japan Karate Association (JKA), Dunfermline Press reported on 20 March.

Wood, who has studied for 50 years, spent 25 years teaching the martial art and built the first custom JKA Dojo in Dunfermline. He has also become a member of the prestigious Shihan Kai in Japan.

He teaches traditional Japanese karate in Western Australia and is president and chief instructor of JKA Karate-Do Australia.

Five-year cricket strategy revealed

UK-Japan News April 2018

The Japan Cricket Association (JCA) has published its new five-year strategy “Building a Brighter Future”, the organisation announced on 13 March.

The strategy involves developing national teams, administrators, coaches, scorers, umpires and volunteers; educating the Japanese public about cricket; offering a foundation of junior development; creating modified formats of cricket to create a unique social experience; and creating “Cities of Cricket”.

The JCA aims to reach five Cities of Cricket and 5,000 players.

Cheese on a roll

Japan news April 2018

The Nikkei Marketing Journal (5 March) reports that last year, Japan’s consumption of cheese grew 6%, making it the third straight year of increased demand.

According to data supplied by the US Department of Agriculture, the 320,000 tonnes consumed by Japan represents a 13% increase from five years earlier. Japanese statistics for 2016 show that daily per capita consumption of cheese had reached 6.5g, a rise of about 50% from 1996.

While Japanese people tend to favour consuming their Camembert accompanied by wine or in the form of party titbits, in recent years cheese, with its high protein and low levels of carbohydrates, has also been popularised as a food for dieters. At the same time, more firms have been pushing it as a dessert food: from last autumn, Megmilk Snow Brand Co., Ltd. launched cheese items flavoured with apple or berries.

The article also points out that recipes for the use of cheese have been rapidly increasing on social networks. A user hashtag #chiizutakkarubi focusing on Korean-style dishes prepared with cheese currently boasts 160,000 followers a day.

Deli-style items and sandwiches featuring cheese have also reportedly been selling well at FamilyMart Co., Ltd. and Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd. convenience store chains.

The growing demand for cheese (as well as butter) is occurring in the face of falling production of raw milk products, as more of Japan’s family-owned dairy farms have been shutting down due to the ageing of the farm household population. As a result, costs for raw materials this year are projected to increase from ¥4 to ¥5 yen per kilogram of raw milk.

Brands look to emperors for name

Japan news April 2018

It’s been a popular tradition in Japan to welcome the arrival of a new monarch by incorporating the nengo (era name) into a firm’s name or brand. Examples include Meidi-Ya Co., Ltd. (a confectionary firm), Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.

Online newspaper J-Cast News cited a survey from Tokyo Shoko Research, Ltd., which has found that Japan has 1,270 firms beginning with Heisei—the current nengo—in their names. Of these, 653 firms, or 51.4%, were established in the first nine years of Heisei, which began in January 1989. The number of firms with Showa in their name is currently 2,640—more than twice the number with Heisei. However, this is not surprising since the 62 years of the Showa era are more than double those of Heisei.

The article also points out that small individual enterprises not officially registered as firms are not included in the count of firms using Heisei.

In addition, another 143 firms that had previously existed under a different name had changed their names to include Heisei.

Broken down by prefecture, Tokyo had the largest number of firms beginning with Heisei in their name, at 139, followed by Osaka (104), Saitama (63) and Fukuoka (61). The prefecture with the fewest was Tottori, with just five.

Murky future for ¥100 shops?

Japan news April 2018

One of the star retail players in Japan’s deflation-ridden economy has been the ¥100 shop. Referred to in the trade as hyakkin (“100 average”, referring to the retail price of most items) for short, the firms are regarded as the winners in the long-running deflationary spiral, as opposed to the nation’s department stores, the main losers.

While total department store revenue is in the neighbourhood of ¥5.95tn—10 times that of the hyakkin—Shukan Jitsuwa (29 March) reports that, with sales last year of around ¥420bn, Hiroshima-based Daiso Industries Co., Ltd. is ranked number one overall, with 3,150 outlets in Japan and nearly 1,900 overseas, giving it an approximately 60% share of the market. In second place is Seria Co., Ltd., based in Gifu Prefecture, whose revenues increased from ¥20.4bn in 2000 to ¥145.3bn at the end of fiscal 2016. In third and fourth places, respectively, are Can Do Co., Ltd. and Watts Co., Ltd.

The writer expresses concern about the hyakkin’s future, however. For one thing, from 1 March, 75-year-old Hirotake Yano assumed the post of Daiso’s chairman, effectively passing control of the company to his son Seiji, who became president. An unnamed business consultant noted that Daiso appears to be planning to go public, and with its large number of stores overseas, expects to face more severe governance requirements.

There is a view that the lifespan of firms whose business model undergoes minimal evolution—such as hyakkin shops—may only last 20 to 30 years. Already there have been recent examples of diversification, such as “leisure lands” that allow visitors to enjoy themselves for ¥500 for 30 minutes. Some 90% of the 70,000 items on display are said to be original products not sold in rival stores. The huge Arukukitto store operated by Daiso in Kinshicho, Sumida Ward in Tokyo, is said to average a turnover of ¥120mn per month.

An authority on retailing told the magazine, “Overall, the hyakkin stores are enjoying a huge level of support from foreign tourists. They particularly appreciate the cheap prices for fans, handkerchiefs and other items bearing motifs from old woodblock prints.

“The current number of inbound visitors is about 28mn a year, accounting for an economic boost of ¥5tn, and by the year of the Olympics—
2020—these figures are projected to jump to 40mn and ¥8tn, respectively. The hyakkin shops are certain to be one of the main beneficiaries, and the ones that will do the best will be those putting proactive policies in place to meet the demand”.

Another authority on business management, however, noted that consumers who patronise the hyakkin tend to be fickle and that the business can be unusually capricious.

“We’re already seeing a tendency towards merchandise with greater value-added, with the product mix including items for ¥200 each”, he noted. “A business that succeeds thanks to deflation is also one that depends on deflation, and that will place even greater demands on the people at the helm of such retailers”.

Aeon ends Laura Ashley tie-up

UK-Japan News April 2018

Aeon Co., Ltd. has begun to scrap poorly performing subsidiaries due to a missed profit target in its most recent mid-term business plan. One of those to be scrapped is Laura Ashley Japan, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on 19 March. AEON announced in February that it would not renew its licence to operate the brand.

AEON currently owns more than 70% of Laura Ashley’s operations in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and 120 of the shops in these markets will close by September.

AEON missed its operating profit target by ¥100bn.

Grime music takes root in Tokyo

UK-Japan News March 2018

In an article published on 27 February, dance music magazine Mixmag put the spotlight on the Japanese take on grime, a genre originating from London in the early 2000s that combines fast rapping with bass-heavy beats. The music has enjoyed considerable global success in recent years.

Speaking to leading DJs, MCs and producers in Tokyo such as Pakin, Double Clapperz and ONJUICY, Mixmag looked at how the artists discovered the genre and the challenges of introducing this foreign sound to Japan.

“We all express our frustrations and rebellious spirit in the same way”, said Pakin, commenting on the similarities between grime in the two countries.

Brexit seen as “self-harm”

UK-Japan News March 2018

The former British ambassador to Japan (2008–2012) Sir David Warren KCMG has written in an essay for The Royal Institute of International Affairs that Brexit could have a “grave” impact on UK–Japan relations, The Guardian reported on 15 February.

Warren writes that Japanese policy analysts are confused by UK government rhetoric surrounding the global opportu­nities offered by Brexit. In Japan, power projection is seen as heavily dependent on economic strength, and thus leaving a large economic bloc is seen by many officials as constituting political self-harm.

May, Abe to help enforce sanctions on North Korea

UK-Japan News March 2018

The British and Japanese prime ministers have agreed to work together to stop North Korea evading tough UN Security Council sanctions through ship-to-ship transfers of certain goods, the South China Morning Post reported on 27 February.

During a phone conversation between them, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed the need to apply the maximum pressure on North Korea so it would abandon its nuclear weapons development.

Prime Minister Theresa May agreed, expressing her readiness to cooperate in dealing with the North Korea issue.

Interest in health shows marked increase among all age groups

Japan news March 2018

Japan’s consumers are showing a revived interest in the importance of health. Responses to a survey, received from both adult men and women in all age groups, express the intention to increase health-related expenditure, for example through food, leisure and other pursuits.

The Nikkei Marketing Journal (NMJ) dated 4 February published the results of a nationwide poll in September conducted by Recruit Lifestyle Co., Ltd.’s Jalan travel website. It obtained 2,582 valid responses.

In descending order, the items in which participants said they had recently taken a new interest or about which they had developed concern (with multiple responses given), included diet (82.2%), travel (79%) and health and relaxation (74.7%). When asked, “In what topics have you taken more interest than you did previously?” the top responses were health and relaxation (62.8%), travel (61.8%) and food (59.5%).

Somewhat unusually for a survey with a wide age spread, it found almost insignificant differences in the intention of different age groups to devote more time and spend more money on health. Among men in their sixties, 65.3% planned to do so, followed by men in their thirties (62.5%) and boys in their teens.

Compared with a current average monthly expenditure of ¥3,541 for health-related activities (not including medical treatment or medication), future spending is expected to rise by an average of ¥855 to ¥4,396. The sharpest increases are among men in their thirties (¥1,379) and females in their teens and twenties (¥1,060), respectively.

Asked if they have an interest in travel that promotes better health, 70.9% gave positive replies. The term “health tourism” might, in the Japanese mind, include therapeutic mineral spring bathing, specially prepared “slow food” or macrobiotic diets, as well as trips including yoga sessions or Pilates.

Leaner beef cuts just as popular as wagyu

Japan news March 2018

On 5 November while on a state visit to Japan, US President Donald Trump was treated to a full-course teppanyaki dinner at the Ginza branch of Ukai-tei, a three-star Michelin establishment where, as a saying attributed to another wealthy American, J.P. Morgan, goes, “If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it”.

The next day, a Monday, wire services reported the shares of the restaurant’s parent company, Ukai Co. Ltd., had risen 7.3%.

The house speciality at Ukai-tei is steaks from pampered wagyu steers. The streaks of marbled fat in the beef—which imparts an extra-tender consistency to the meat—are referred to in Japanese as shimofuri (fallen frost).

While Japanese understandably take pride in the quality of their meat, when the daily Asahi Shimbun (24 February) posed the question of beef preference to 1,626 people in its weekly “be between” survey, the results were precisely 50–50, with lean cuts of beef just as popular as the marbled variety, although for different reasons. Shimofuri was favoured for its tenderness and melt-in-the-mouth consistency (541 and 536 respondents, respectively, followed by its sense of balance between soft and firm 449). Leaner beef cuts are more appreciated for their good flavour (421 responses); straightforward simplicity (398); and being better for health (376).

Among both groups, the four most popular styles of beef dishes named were sukiyaki, steak, shabu-shabu and Korean-style barbecue.

In terms of dining frequency, 25% of shimofuri consumers said they indulged “several times a month”, whereas among those favouring the lean cuts, over twice that percentage, 51%, said they consumed them several times a month.

Individual preferences, of course, change with the times. Speaking as a recent convert, a 75-year-old man from Shizuoka Prefecture admitted he thought shimofuri beef tastier, yet added, “but to reduce my fat intake, I recently switched to leaner cuts”. Overall, older respondents tend to associate beef with their first encounters, beginning in the 1950s, with high-quality meat. They still regard beef as a special treat to be consumed on celebratory occasions such as at New Year.

English fluency does not guarantee a worker’s ability

Japan news March 2018

A series of six articles in Shukan Gendai (3 March) looked at what changes are occurring at Japan’s universities in the current era of low birth rates.

In the fifth article in the series, the magazine voices a surprisingly negative view of so-called kikoku shijo, the term used to describe Japanese returnees, who have been raised and educated abroad. Its eye-catching headline, quoting a human resources manager at a major corporation, reads, “If English is the only thing they’re good at, we don’t need them to work here”.

The article begins with a quote from an individual identified only as “Mr A” at a car dealership that has hired new sales staff to work at its headquarters. Problems, he says, have repeatedly cropped up with one particular new arrival, who was brought up in the United States, concerning her way of interacting with potential customers.

“‘Is there something with which you’re dissatisfied?’ she asked an indecisive customer”, reported Mr A. “Even after I warned her about using that tone, she asked me, po faced, ‘Did I say something wrong?’

“It was clear she wasn’t being malicious, but in a situation where a customer is considering purchasing a car, it would have been more appropriate to adopt a more humble tone and ask, ‘Might there be something that’s not clear to you?’. The problem is, her Japanese just isn’t very good”.

According to “Mr B”, who works in human resources for a major trading firm, “The policy of hiring candidates who are adept at English (scoring 900 or higher in the TOEIC examination) typically involves top-down directives from upper management who are promoting globalisation. But human resources departments are concerned that new staff are unable to meet Japan’s societal requirements, and when this becomes a problem in the organisation, the responsibility invariably falls on their department”.

In terms of general knowledge, their shortcomings are often evident from written tests. “They can’t solve maths problems for maths learnt at the primary school level and can’t even correctly write the name of the current prime minister”, said “Mr C”, a human resources manager at a major manufacturing firm. “In total, their English ability makes up for the shortfall, but their ability is below that of graduates from top schools, such as Keio and Waseda”.

Nor are the Japan offices of foreign businesses an exception. At one firm, “complaints were circulating from the US headquarters that this particular Japanese staff member ‘couldn’t understand English’”. What they meant in this case was that he lacked a specialised understanding of finance and securities.

The article doesn’t go quite as far as suggesting the returnees’ acquisition of foreign language skills overseas is of little benefit, but it is clearly critical of their weakness in working with others as a close-knit group—an attribute to which great importance is attached in Japan.

This is by no means a new debate, but the Shukan Gendai’s writer weakens his argument to some extent by extolling “traditional Japanese corporate hiring practices”, since “lifelong employment” and related traditions in the Japanese workplace have been eroding since the 1990s.

TEPCO invests into blockchain energy firm

UK-Japan News February 2018

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO) has invested an undisclosed sum into the energy firm Electron (Chaddenwych Services Limited), according to a 19 January report by The Energyst.

Electron, which is building a blockchain system covering trading, meter registration and data privacy, believes that by cutting out middlemen it can reduce costs.

TEPCO has said it plans to gain additional blockchain knowhow from the investment.

Last year Electron received £640,000 in government funding.

Smart battery maker to launch tech with Itochu

UK-Japan News February 2018

The London-based smart battery maker Moixa Energy Holdings Ltd. will launch its GridShare technology in Japan in partnership with the trading house Itochu Corporation, Moixa announced in a press release on 29 January.

Starting in summer, the Japanese firm will install GridShare—which uses artificial intelligence to improve the performance of batteries—in its Smart Star home battery products as standard.

Itochu will also invest £5mn in the British firm to help with the expansion.

NEC buys anti-crime IT firm

UK-Japan News February 2018

NEC Corporation has purchased Hemel Hempstead-based IT firm Northgate Public Services (UK) Limited for £475mn, according to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review on 10 January.

Northgate provides software to police departments for managing crime data and reading licence plates. The acquisition is part of NEC’s effort to boost UK sales of its facial recognition technology.

The Japanese multinational also plans to use the purchase to help Northgate expand into other markets.

Original Asahi beer to be made in the UK

UK-Japan News February 2018

Asahi UK Ltd. has announced that its namesake Super Dry beer will be relaunched in Britain in its authentic Japanese form, Bar Magazine reported on 15 January.

As a result of increased investment and improved technology, brewing will be brought in-house to replicate the same standards achieved in Japan. In addition to being available in 330ml bottles, the beer will also be served on draught using Japanese bar tap technology.

Asahi Super Dry was previously brewed by the UK’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame Limited in Kent.

SoftBank robot “fired” from Scottish shop for poor work

UK-Japan News February 2018

A SoftBank Group Corp. Pepper robot—the first to be used in the UK—has been dismissed from its job of helping customers at the upscale Margiotta supermarket in Edinburgh, International Business Times reported on 22 January.

The robot, named Fabio by staff, was demoted and then let go after one week. This followed its failure to offer customers helpful answers or entice them to try food samples.

Fabio was introduced to the shop as part of an experiment for the BBC TV programme Six Robots & Us.

Pharma firm expands in Japan

UK-Japan News February 2018

Sterling Pharma Solutions Ltd., an active pharmaceutical ingredient developer and manufacturer based in Northumberland, has announced it is expanding its presence in Japan, according to a 24 January report in Pharmaceutical Processing.

Sterling Pharma Solutions has been audited by the Japanese Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency and recently appointed Koichi Hirayama to represent the firm in the country.

The UK firm hopes to benefit from the growing trend among Japanese pharma firms to outsource work, to better cope with cost pressures.

Honorary consul named in Manchester

UK-Japan News February 2018

A partner at UK professional services company Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Jo Ahmed, has been appointed honorary consul in Manchester by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Manchester Evening News reported on 4 January.

In her new role, Ahmed will support Japanese businesses, promote engagement with Japan, participate in cultural events and assist with maintaining relations between Manchester and regional authorities.

At Deloitte, Ahmed has worked with Japanese firms such as Brother Industries, Ltd. and Japan Tobacco Inc.

Kazuo Ishiguro reveals love of Nagasaki

UK-Japan News February 2018

British author Kazuo Ishiguro OBE has emphasised the affection he has for his birthplace of Nagasaki in letters to the city’s mayor and prefectural governor, the Asahi Shimbun reported on 29 December.

Ishiguro, who moved to the UK at the age of five, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature last year and said Nagasaki had formed the foundations of his career as a writer.

“I still feel a special emotion just to hear the word ‘Nagasaki’”, he wrote.

Baseball pro eyes switch to cricket

UK-Japan News February 2018

The former baseball player Shogo Kimura is attempting to make the switch into cricket, the first Japanese player to do so, the Daily Mail reported on 28 January.

This came about after Japan Cricket Association asked Nippon Professional Baseball if a player would be willing to take on the challenge, and Kimura’s name came up. He has trained at Sano, Tochigi Prefecture, a city that aims to be the home of cricket in Japan.

He played for the Yokohama BayStars, Hiroshima Carp and Seibu Lions in a career spanning 2003 to 2017.

England rugby team plans tour after RWC

UK-Japan News February 2018

In 2020, the English rugby team will embark on their first tour of Japan, The Times reported on 29 January.

The tour will comprise two tests and represents the first time England will have visited a tier-two nation under the new touring rotation arrangement. Previously, they would have been expecting to head for New Zealand.

England have only played Japan once before, at a 1987 World Cup match in Australia.

Eyes turn towards Dyson’s move into electric cars

Japan news February 2018

The Nikkei Business of 15 January ran a 20-page special cover feature titled “The major competition that’s shaping up for electric vehicles (EV), as seen by Dyson”. Cover stories of this length on foreign manufactures are not unheard of, but are generally limited to firms such as IBM Corp., Amazon.com, Inc., Apple Inc., and The Boeing Company, the operations of which have a direct impact on Japanese business. For a foreign firm such as Dyson Ltd. that’s still relatively new, the coverage makes for a PR coup. It was a rare acknowledgement.

Dyson employees now number 8,000—four times more than five years ago—and one employee out of three is an engineer or scientific researcher. The writer noted with admiration that Dyson’s ratio of research and development to sales is approximately 12%, considerably higher than that of Japanese firms such as Toyota Motor Corporation and Sony Corporation.

Starting with the firm’s guiding philosophy of “solving the problems others ignore”, the article introduces founder James Dyson OM CBE’s four-step innovation process, the components of which are design, build, test and break. By the time one of the firm’s much-heralded cyclone vacuum cleaners is ready for market, it will have undergone 5,000 or more cycles of this process.

Even something as mundane as a hand-held hair dryer—to cite one example—can benefit from innovative thinking, particularly considering that the existing technology in many conventional products has hardly changed in decades. In this case, many users complained that dryer operation was too slow, too noisy and damaged hair.

Harnessing aerospace technology, Dyson adopted precision rotor blades for its hair dryers that addressed the problems and harnessed customer feedback in terms of temperature settings, blower power, body colour and other features. The models are being sold in 75 countries.

Shortly after joining the firm as an engineer in 2013, Fred Howe, a graduate of the University of Leeds, proposed an idea and was quickly given research funding of £30,000.

“Working here is an engineer’s dream”, says Yvonne Tan, manager of the motor engineering section at Dyson in Singapore. But the firm won’t give the go-ahead merely with a set of blueprints. “We won’t get approval without building a mock-up and proving it will function”, explained Christopher Vincent, another developer at the firm.

On 26 September last year, company founder Dyson announced his intention to develop an EV in an open letter to his employees. Now that Dyson has thrown down the gauntlet to the EV industry. Nikkei Business is not beyond speculating that it may eventually surpass Tesla, Inc.

One key reason is the difference in corporate management. Tesla has assembled its capital through the issue of common stock or corporate bonds to investors, which it used for the development and production of its EVs, battery factory and so on. As it is heavily committed to these investors, it puts heavy pressure on its employees to come up with results quickly.

Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk can be described as an innovator according to the archetypal Silicon Valley formula.

Dyson, meanwhile, is privately owned and, as its EV development is self-financed, it is under no pressure to show results. The development method takes an approach similar to that of other Dyson products, with in-house technology and heavy reliance on promising young engineers.

It appears that the strategy of these two makers of EVs may be destined to collide. There’s a strong likelihood that Dyson, with its radically different corporate values and marketing approach, will not use Tesla’s success as a role model to be followed. Rather than a large sedan with long-range capability, many market watchers are expecting Dyson’s EV to be a compact aimed at daily commuters.