×

'Japan's Tesla' GLM stays competitive by selling its technology to rivals

Japanese electric car maker GLM stays competitive by selling its own flashy sports cars as well as the technology platform to rivals, its chief financial officer told CNBC.

Dubbed "Japan's Tesla," GLM develops its own technology for electric vehicle power systems, chassis and vehicle control units, all of which are customizable and on offer, even to rivals.

Leading carmakers around the world from General Motors to Toyota are eyeing the electric car market for growth and to stave off competition as upstart Tesla Motors moves away from a luxury roadster offering and aims for the mid-priced mass-market price range with its Model S and X versions.

But the six-year old Japanese carmaker has stayed in the higher price range with its two premium electric sports sedan models, the gull-wing door GLM-G4, and the Porsche look-alike GLM-ZZ, which have created a buzz at auto shows around the globe.

Its latest model, the GLM-G4, has a twin-motor electric powertrain with 536 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque and is within the price range of $200,000 to $300,000. The GLM-ZZ model is priced at about $80,000.

Last Friday, GLM launched its brand and showcased its vehicles in Hong Kong, which it sees as a gateway to the rest of China. The Kyoto-based company has already sold its cars in limited quantities in the U.K. and in Japan.

But the sports cars are just one-half of its business.

"Another pillar of our business is leveraging this technology for our own line of cars, and applying it to third-party [clients]," said Sota Nagano, chief financial officer at GLM, in a "Squawk Box" interview.

Japanese concept electric car GLM-G4 during the Paris Motor Show at the Porte de Versailles Exposition Centre in Paris.
Japanese concept electric car GLM-G4 during the Paris Motor Show at the Porte de Versailles Exposition Centre in Paris.

With electric vehicles paving the way as cars of the future, many players want to get into the crowded space, but it might not be economically viable to spend billions and billions (of dollar) to compete in the same sector, Nagano said.

He told CNBC that its clients include car-sharing service providers to traditional automakers.

"Every one of our customer has a different agenda … and all have different packaging and requirements in mind," he said. "It does not directly compete with what we have, [instead] it puts us in a very unique position."

-- Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.