Terra Motors Corporation, Japan’s top electric two and three-wheeler manufacturer, has raised US$ 10 million (Rs 59.50 crore) to finance its expansion plans in Asian markets, including India. Terra Motors plans to enter India later this year with its executive scooter A4000i.
In an earlier interview with our sister publication Autocar Professional
, the company’s founder and CEO Toru Tokushige had said that Terra Motors will invest Rs 30 crore in India during 2014-15. That translates to half of the funds raised from five new investors. Terra Motors had showcased its products for the first time in India at the Auto Expo 2014 in Greater Noida.
Tokushige feels that even though electric vehicles have gained acceptance in Europe and America as a means of mobility, they have very strong prospects in Asia. “More than 30 million units of electric two-wheelers were sold in China in 2013, and hundreds of thousands of electric three-wheelers have already been sold in India and in Bangladesh because of the high price of petrol. Therefore, we need to focus on Asian markets,” said Tokushige.
In addition to India, Terra Motors will also enter Bangladesh this year. These steps will be followed by entry to Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and other Asian countries in a "few years". With these steps, Terra Motors hopes to reach sales of 10,000 units in Asian markets by 2015.
The new round of financing in Terra Motors was led by California-based venture capital investor Fenox Venture Capital, and major Japanese venture capital firm Mizuho Capital among others. The new funds will also be utilised to expand production in Vietnam (A4000i) and in the Philippines (three-wheelers).
“Our short-term goal is to take the lead in the Asian market just as Tesla has positioned itself as a leader in the electric automotive industry. In addition, our long-term goal is to create a company with rapid growth, beyond the growth of Samsung and Apple,” added Tokushige.
Tokyo-based Terra Motors was founded in 2010. Its investors include former president of Sony Corporation, Nobuyuki Idei, Koichiro Tsujino, former president of Google Japan and Kenji Yamamoto, former vice-president of sales at Apple Inc, USA.