The former president and CEO of Nissan Hiroto Saikawa has joined a tech start-up based in the UK as they look to expand into the Asian market.

Coastr is a ‘shared mobility’ tech start-up 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. Using their technology platform to enable shared mobility solutions, the firm aims to reduce private ownership of vehicles through faster, digital access to shared vehicles to reduce the overall number of vehicles and decarbonise the planet.

In recent years, 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.

This has been made possible by the data-driven approach adopted by mobility tech startups, such as Coastr, who generate swathes of useful operational data on customer and operator behaviour. As the shared mobility industry alone is projected to reach a market value of £1.49 trillion by 2027, the fast-growing start-up, originally based in Edinburgh, has been able to expand into three additional locations across London, California, and Bengaluru, India in just four years.


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Now, as the firm looks to further their expansion into Asia, they have attracted former president and CEO of Nissan Hiroto Saikawa to join their ranks and guide the way.

Mr. Saikawa explains that, since his retirement from Nissan, he has been working with growing IT ventures in Japan, and believes that Coastr can be a dominant player as the shared mobility industry breaks new ground in the east.

“After 100 years of growth and prosperity, the automotive industry is now undergoing substantial change and evolution. 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”.

Speaking on the new partnership, Coastr CEO Biswajit Kundu Roy says: “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”.