Toru Tokushige | CEO and Founder Terra Motors Corporation
They established an electric motorcycle company without related know-how in 2010, and became a leading manufacturer in Japan. They are an innovator with excellent Japanese technologies and 15 people, and are aiming to be the best in the world.
I am aiming to be the best in the world in the field of electric motorcycles. The number of employees is 15. Even so, our company, Terra Motors, captured the best market share in Japan for the two years after the company was established. This is a real story. In that situation, being called “crazy” is a sort of compliment to me. If many people have a negative impression against the word “crazy,” there may be a reason that innovation is not created in Japan. I believe that innovation finally comes down to “mind” or “vision.” Even if you have an excellent capability or technology, nothing is achieved without real actions or if you give up before you try. This may be related to the competitiveness of existing Japanese companies. When I’m abroad, I feel that Japanese companies are in a stagnant state. I recommend you to go abroad to recognize it. Foreign companies give a green light if the success rate is 60 % or more. A Chinese company, Huawei, gives a green light if the rate is 30 % or more. While Japanese companies are hesitative to take any action with fear, overseas market is dominated by Samsung, LG, etc. Don’t you feel frustrated?
I was taking a course of a honor student through so-called “good school,” “good university,” and ”good company.” I cleared my past career and went to Silicon Valley. The reason is just “I wanted to go there.” All that I have is due to the decision and action taken at that time. When I was in Silicon Valley, I heard often about people in the EV business. I thought “Why they are in the EV business in the city of IT or network technology?” This question was the beginning of my business idea. Researching about it, we can recognize that the industry is just in revolutionary times. For instance, in the automobile industry, many suppliers such as a primary supplier or a secondary supplier belong to the industry. The automobile industry has a vertical integration structure. However, it is shifting from the vertical integration structure to the horizontal integration structure combining various excellent technologies. The simplest case is the PC industry. Intel provides the CPU. Microsoft provides the OS. Thus, each field technology is collected together, and one excellent product is assembled. I believe that now is the biggest chance once a century for a revolutionary time.
engine motorcycle. The market share of the Japanese engine motorcycles is top class in the world. However, the market share of the electric motorcycle is still small. The manufacturing of the electric motorcycles requires less capital investment, and there is an increased attention about environment in the back ground. In this field, we wish we could manufacture desired electric motorcycles, assembling each excellent technology such as a battery, motor, tire, bearing, suspension, brake, etc. This is the start of my business.
I suppose that the existing vertical integrated manufacturers are not able to produce electrical motorcycles in this way. We knew nothing. That’s why we achieved it. Of course, we made a lot of effort technically. We are now being called into the question, “Do you have the spirit to exceed it?”
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