Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Who is Hiroyasu Koma? (小間 裕康 of Green Lord Motors “fame”) ___ PART 2

To recap, in the first post about the subject, I showed that he inherited a company from his father (apparently), as opposed to being the “entrepreneur” that the Japanese media with close ties to the government (NHK), etc., lauds him as. 

In the case of Koma, however, the ridiculousity factor is of a magnitude even greater than that of Tate—the individual being promoted as in idiot savant IoT entrepreneur—in that the industry Koma is portrayed as ‘disrupting’ (automobiles) is not a new industry based on novel technology recently developed, but is in fact a highly impacted and competitive industry involving a complex product with various practical obstacles. As examples of authentic Japanese companies involved in the competition, see this:

The above pattern will be familiar to those acquainted with the material in this blog. It is important to note, however, that Koma basically misrepresents (i.e., lies) the background of the company (e.g., series of Japanese Youtube interviews with him embedded at the end of this post), and that the media repeats his misrepresentations without ever looking into the background of the company (established in 1961). The media is the mouthpiece of oligarchic interests operating through national intelligence services to promote these individuals  fraudulently infiltrated into civil society under a flimsy cover as"entrepreneurs".

Many of the Japanese media articles were comparing GLM (which has since been sold!) to Tesla, which is patently ridiculous. In the interview with NHK linked to in the first post (related video in Japanese:, Koma declared that if he had known about automobiles, he would not have been able to enter the industry, because he used knowledge that had nothing to do with automobiles to start the company. Recently, after the front company was sold (apparently he still has a role in its management) an article was published describing what appears to be the gist of a new business model in the automobile industry that garnered investment. That article is linked to and discussed below, but in short, the idea is to produce electric vehicles based on modular, interchangeable components, in what is described as a “commodification” of the automobile sector.

Before examining recent developments, however, I’m going to start with the first article I encountered in my newsfeed about Mr. Koma and his funny money company. The was published by the Asahi Shinbun (a daily newspaper) in April 2017:
It was so ridiculous it deserved a post on Facebook:
First of all, note that the vehicle is described as having a top speed of 250 kph (confirmed here on GLM’s website:, which is hardly something in the “super car” class:
A prototype electric supercar billed as a “yacht on the road” and a shining example of Japanese manufacturing was unveiled in Tokyo on April 18.
The GLM-G4, from start-up firm GLM Co., is a scissor-doored four-seater luxury electric vehicle (EV) with a top speed of 250 kph.
“I want to create supercars with sophisticated details that are full of Japanese technology,” said GLM President Hiroyasu Koma at the event.
The car is expected to retail for 40 million yen ($367,000), and the company aims to sell 1,000 units in Japan and markets such as Europe, China and the Middle East.
Another article published on the same day by the Nikkei Asia Review entitled, “Japan’s GLM aims to be the Ferrari of electric vehicles’” ( reads:

OSAKA -- A high-performance luxury electric vehicle under development by Japanese automaker GLM will lead the company's charge into foreign markets.
The G4 will have an electric battery pack and motors, running 400km on one charge. Yet the model also will sport 540 horsepower and achieve acceleration from zero to 100kph in 3.7 seconds.
GLM eyes sales of 1,000 units, with a price tag of 40 million yen ($368,000) -- on par with European and other luxury cars. The G4 will be the automaker's second model, following the Tommy Kaira ZZ electric sports car, which was sold only in Japan.
The automaker's aggressive pricing is deliberate, as the company aims to be "the Ferrari of electric vehicles," said Tomohisa Tanaka, a director at GLM.
"Luxury cars actually have little competition, so it is easier to target that market," said Koma.

As mentioned in the first blogpost, not one of the cars was ever manufactured—let alone sold on the open market—before the presumed Japanese front company was sold to the presumed Hong Kong front company.

Here’s an image from another interview with Koma.

Next, NHK followed uptheir interview with a television piece about Koma and the display model of the purported EV supercar:

Here, note that the video describes the car as having 540 HP.

On the GLM company website (, the car is described as using an electric motor sourced from Kyoto company Yuasa originally for a vehicle manufactured Mitsubishi. The website describes three different types of chassis design for three corresponding types of vehicles: “MR Sports”, “Grand Touring”, and “Small Vehicle” ( There is a lot of hype on the Internet about GLM, including a lot of photos and videos of promotional events, etc., but has very little technical or engineering-related information. Perhaps that is because there is none—or almost none—based on the company’s intellectual property rights (i.e., patents) portfolio. As I mentioned at the end of the first post, GLM owns a grand total of one single patent of apparently negligible value.

The first trick used to try to promote the company and append some sort of automobile-related aura to Kyoto was the reincarnation of the Tommykaira ZZ (a short-lived 1990s project) as an EV vehicle. The recently published article describing the business model concept describes only that project however, and fails to mention anything else about the purported super car. In other words, the Tommykaira ZZ was an already existing automobile that GLM simply converted to an electric car, though the circumstances are somewhat unclear/obfuscated by this article (the most detailed I’ve found):, This section on “tie-ups” is informative:

"We envision three types of tie-ups," he told the Nikkei Asian Review. First, GLM can export the chassis, fully loaded, and have its tie-up partner assemble the exterior body and windows locally.
Second, GLM can export just the chassis and the vehicle control unit, and leave the local partner to negotiate with Japanese parts suppliers for the remaining components.
In the third option, probably for later down the road, the local partner can mount locally produced batteries and motors to a chassis provided by GLM. In this scenario, GLM would have more of an advisory role.

That appears to have largely been a promotional gimmick that was used to build up some hype before the falsely promoted front company was sold to another front company in a media spectacle aiming to make the respective Kyoto and Hong Kong front companies look like tech savvy innovators capable of competing with Tesla, Toyota, etc. Nevertheless, as seen above, Japanese newspaper described GLM as an “automaker”. It would not be infeasible that the Hong Kong jewelry company that bought GLM aims to enter the auto market in mainland China, but there has been no indication of any such movement. Moreover, GLM owns negligible intellectual property, which tends to indicate they have created nothing of value that could be marketable.

These excerpts are from the most recent article (

From the 1990s, the electronics industry quickly shifted to a "horizontal division of labor," outsourcing the development and production of the main components of televisions and computers such as semiconductors and liquid crystal screens to outside companies. As a result, these products became "commodities" for general use, and because it became difficult to distinguish between the end products in terms of technology or performance, Japanese manufacturers lost out to Chinese and South Korean makers armed with cheap labor and mass production who offered the products at lower prices.
"We cannot allow for the commoditization of automobiles," said Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, showing an inclination toward in-house development and manufacturing of products with the use of high-performance fuel cell batteries for electric vehicles. However, in August, Nissan Motor Corp. announced plans to sell all shares in its electric vehicle fuel cell subsidiary to a Chinese investment fund, and otherwise made moves to adapt to the changes in the market.
GLM Co., a venture firm founded by Kyoto University in 2010, released 99 limited units of an electric sports car. The motor, fuel cells and other main parts were jointly developed with major manufacturers Yaskawa Electric Corp. and Omron Corp., and the manufacturing itself was all handled externally. The company is planning to release another 1,000 vehicles of two new models in 2019. Representative director and president Hiroyasu Koma said, "The trends in the automobile industry will shift just like in the electronics industry, shifting to a horizontal division of labor for manufacturing from now on."
The last article I’ll examine is another Nikkei article (July 10, 2017), this one titled, “Hong Kong watchmaker snaps up 'Japan's Tesla' for $114mn” (

HONG KONG -- Watchmaker O Luxe Holdings said on Sunday it will buy Japanese electric vehicle startup GLM for about 896 million Hong Kong dollars ($114 million).

Of course, it is not even true that O Luxe is a “watchmaker,” but that is perhaps a topic for another post...

GLM was set up as a Kyoto University venture in 2010. The company develops, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and is often referred to as "Japan's Tesla," after its American rival.

Again, they keep spewing promotional disinformation about GLM, and one can only wonder why a leading Japanese economics newspaper would do that. GLM doesn’t deserve to me mentioned in the same sentence with Tesla, or Toyota, for that matter.

I will eventually polish these posts up a little, but am putting this up now simply to put these fraudulent people, enterprises, and media promotions behind me—for the moment—as there are others to address… 

For those who speak Japanese, there is a series of interviews I've come across on Youtube of Koma that details some of the points made in these two posts:

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