Volkswagen initiates a forward looking co-operative venture in the Asia-Pacific region, which draws attention to itself as a potentially important export market due to its dynamic economic growth and lower production costs. Volkswagenwerk AG signs a cooperation agreement with the "Nissan Motor Co., Ltd." The co-operative agreement strengthens Volkswagen's presence on the Japanese market and gives the company the opportunity to observe the flexible and productive system set up by Japanese manufacturers. In order to help Nissan, Volkswagen forms a consulting company, "Volkswagen Asia Ltd.", which at the same time is responsible for ramping up the import business. Although Volkswagen Group rises to become the leading foreign vehicle importer in Japan, protectionist measures block further expansion. It is only after the Japanese market opened during the late 1980's that the requirements for a volume-oriented export strategy came into existence.