A UK-based mobility tech firm, Coastr, has hired a former Nissan President and CEO, Hiroto Saikawa (pictured above).
The ‘shared mobility’ tech start-up says it is aiming to completely digitise the car rental, car subscription, car sharing operations and customer experience ecosystem with its fully integrated, connected mobility enabled software as a service solution for shared mobility fleet operators.
It says that the appointment of Saikawa will help expand its presence beyond its current operational base and into Asia and Japan.
Coastr, originally based in Edinburgh but now moved to London, says it aims to reduce private ownership of vehicles through faster, digital access to shared vehicles to help decarbonise the planet.
The company reports that travel and mobility technology has evolved from a pure focus on operational efficiency to digitising the customer experience, as well as other parts of the mobility ecosystem spanning industries such as insurance and finance.
As the shared mobility industry alone is projected to reach a market value of £1.49 trillion by 2027, the fast-growing start-up has expanded to California in the US and Bengaluru, India, in just four years.
“After 100 years of growth and prosperity, the automotive industry is now undergoing substantial change and evolution,” commented Hiroto Saikawa.
“As someone who was in the business of providing hardware for mobility over many years, it’s astonishing to see the pace of the growth of the MaaS (mobility-as-a-service) as a new business field, and it may become a dominant player quite soon – replacing most of the major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the market.
“While OEMs are still dominant in Japan, the UK and US seem to be ahead of the curve and embracing this move towards MaaS. I believe Coastr is leading the way in this. I am very pleased and excited about this opportunity and looking forward to working with Biswajit and the Coastr team.”
“We are extremely excited that Saikawa-san has agreed to be a part of Coastr’s journey. Having him join the advisory team will be a huge boost for Coastr, and not only in steering our expansion plans into the Japanese and Asian markets – his unparalleled experience in the automotive industry will be invaluable to our board to help us shape our strategy and achieve our long term vision.”
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