Japanese corporation Itochu to rescue Bigmotor amidst fraud scandal

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In a surprising turn of events, trading giant Itochu has stepped in to provide critical support to Bigmotor, a used car dealer reeling from the aftermath of an insurance claims fraud scandal. The move, announced Wednesday, involves Itochu potentially investing ¥20 billion ($134 million) in a new company that will take over Bigmotor’s key assets, including its stores and repair shops.

This bold initiative comes as Bigmotor’s founding family grapples with the scandal, opting to step away from the management of the new entity. Instead, the new company will be jointly launched by Itochu, its subsidiary Itochu Enex, and investment fund J-Will Partners. Following a thorough due diligence process, the three companies are confident in Bigmotor’s potential for reconstruction.

Itochu’s decision to intervene underscores its commitment to the automobile industry. With a diverse portfolio of automobile-related businesses, including luxury imported car sales and automobile insurance, Itochu aims to leverage synergies with Bigmotor’s operations. Despite recent setbacks, Bigmotor remains a significant player in the used car market, and Itochu sees an opportunity to revitalize its business.

Bigmotor has faced declining customer numbers, particularly after some outlets lost their designations as private automobile inspection centers and registration as nonlife insurance agencies. However, with Itochu’s support and strategic vision, the future looks brighter for Bigmotor as it navigates through this challenging period.

The partnership between Itochu, Itochu Enex, and J-Will Partners signifies a collaborative effort to drive positive change in the used car industry. As the new company takes shape, all eyes will be on how this alliance reshapes the landscape for Bigmotor and the broader automobile market.

(Source: Japan Times | Nippon | NHK)

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