Having ranked in the top three countries with most cars manufactured since the 1960s (according to Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles), Japan is known for producing reliable cars with well-executed details. By stabilizing the car manufacturing process from design, assembly to production with high-safety and proven quality products, Japanese automakers and suppliers have established a competitive global position. However, the automotive industry is transforming with surprisingly rapid development of Tesla – an American automotive and energy company, Google’s car unit, China’s electric car companies and many more to mention. On the other hand, trends such as changing consumer behaviour, the rise of digital demands and labour shortage are adding more challenges to Japanese automotive players, forcing them to accelerate innovation.
THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN AUTOMOTIVE PLAYERS & TECH COMPANIES
In the article on 3 ways to eliminate challenges for Japanese automotive companies, it is emphasized that embracing innovation with the support of technology service providers is the key to better compete with global rivals, especially in the scenario of their tremendous investment in technology. Ford has invested $180 million in Pivotal Software, a cloud computing joint venture that is meant to shore up Ford’s ability to develop electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles. In Tokyo, Denso, eSol and NEC have launched Aubass, an initiative to provide the automakers with easy-to-use basic software for in-vehicle electronic products.
While automakers and auto part suppliers take charge of design, manufacturing, assembly, tech companies develop and provide software, sensors, telematics, security, etc. They can offer the scientific thinking to develop the type of products and components to transform cars into computers on wheels. Adopting a set of innovation helps automotive players reduce cost while improving performance and competitiveness.
DIRECTION FOR JAPANESE AUTOMOTIVE COMPANIES: COLLABORATE WITH TECH PARTNERS FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA
Japanese OEMs and Tier 1 vendors have been constantly looking for technology partners that can meet their needs with agile solutions and wide portfolio of services. The alliance between car manufacturers/ suppliers and tech companies has arisen dramatically in Japan with China and India’s becoming the two leading service providers. Since 2013, this trend has shifted to Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Bangladesh, Philippines, among of which Vietnam is the most competitive one. According to the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA), Vietnam has become the second biggest software and IT (information technology) service partner of Japan since 2014. Vietnam welcomes 40,000 new IT graduates every year and 45 per cent of Vietnamese people are under 35 years of age. This demographic provides a steady supply of educated, young, and low-cost workforce for the country, which is also ideal for knowledge-intensive technology services.
Besides, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) reports that software ranks first among industries in which Vietnamese businesses invest in Japan. More than 10 Vietnamese software businesses have opened companies and/or branches in Japan. Establishing the first office in 2005, FPT is the pioneer that grown into the Vietnamese largest company in Japan with 9 offices and 1200 employees.
THE GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY GIANT IN SOUTHEST ASIA
FPT has been offering numerous solutions and services to world’s top automakers, OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, and semiconductor manufacturers in the automotive industry for the last 10 years. As an active member of GENIVI Alliance (a non-profit industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of open source, In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) software and connected vehicles), FPT leverages forefront innovations and provide engineering services to customers in multiple industry-specific projects, ranging from HMI, middleware to driver and hardware layers. FPT’s services focus on three main areas: Infotainment and navigation (Audio, video, navigation; Display HMI; Rear seat entertainment system), Smart applications (Car parking assistant; Smart device for vehicle control) and Facilitate support for IoV (Internet of Vehicles) (Data collection; Behaviour analysis; Vehicle monitoring).
Learn about the successful cooperation between Honda Techno Fort – a Japanese’s Tier 1 and FPT on software development.
By utilizing extensive experience and accumulated know-how and employing a large pool of talents including 2,200 engineers and 400 automotive experts, FPT implements solutions with processes and quality in accordance with AUTOSAR, Automotive SPICE Level 3, MBD and other global standards. The company is able to consult and deliver comprehensive solutions that streamline the business for automotive brands, including: akaminds IoV platform for Connected Car, AUTOSAR CAN Communication Stack, ECU development support tool CAN/LIN Simulator, etc.
Apart from offering services, FPT assists customers to assess viability of a product by turning their ideas into Proof-of-Concept (PoC) within a short period of time with our highly-skilled research specialists. Starting with working with customers to specify the project, the company defines initial architecture design and work frame, then develop PoCs or enhance the features of old PoCs. This helps gain deeper insight about customers and project and reduce the risk when implementing the real project.
- 2017 statistics, according to International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. http://www.oica.net/category/production-statistics/2017-statistics/
- “Japan, Vietnam’s biggest software partner”. Vietnam Economic News. http://ven.vn/japan-vietnams-biggest-software-partner-25300.html
- “Vietnam to become next outsourcing hotspot”. Vietnam Investment Review. https://www.vir.com.vn/vietnam-to-become-next-outsourcing-hotspot-53060.html
- “Tech Companies and Automakers Joining Forces to Create Vehicles of the Future”. FleetCarma. https://www.fleetcarma.com/tech-companies-automakers-collaboration-vehicles-future/