North Yorkshire-based Twisted Automotive has announced an agreement that will see the company’s bespoke modified Land Rover Defenders sold in Japan, under the new ‘Twisted Japan’ brand.
The exclusive deal with Yone Motors of Tokyo means Twisted’s classic Defenders will be imported for the next three years.
Twisted’s first vehicles built for the Japanese market, in petrol-engined TVS and TV8 specifications, will depart on their 6,000-mile journey to the port of Yokohama later this month.
Yone Motors has experience in selling and maintaining imported luxury vehicles, meaning Twisted’s converted Defenders will line up alongside high-end cars from McLaren, Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
Valuence Holdings, the owner of Yone Motors, is particularly focused on repurposing and reusing luxury goods to make them last longer. This fits with the Twisted approach to restoring and modifying the original Defender.
Twisted Automotive founder Charles Fawcett said: “To take the icon that is the classic Defender, re-engineer and upgrade it in Yorkshire, then send it to Japan is monumental for the team. The vehicles leaving the workshop have had over 1,200 hours each spent on them by the finest British technicians.”
Importing Twisted models to Japan is intended as the starting point for the project. Charles Fawcett added: “There is a significant volume of standard Defenders in the Japanese market, and longer-term these will be used as base models and assembled under licence in Japan by Twisted-trained technicians. This is the beginning of an exciting journey on the other side of the world.”
Kazuya Tanai of Valuence, responsible for the Twisted Japan project, said: “There’s a growing demand in Japan to buy and repurpose classic, quality products. It’s this circular economy ethos that’s at the core of what we do, so the partnership makes sense.”
The brand has already expanded significantly from its base in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, with showrooms in Kensington and Salcombe in Devon. The company has operations in North America and Dubai, too.
This year, Twisted also moved beyond Land Rover Defenders, launching a turbocharged version of the pint-sized Suzuki Jimny.