Daihatsu is a popular name in automotive market. Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. is basically a Japanese based car manufacturer established in 1951 as a successor organization to Hatsudoki and is known for producing small and off-road vehicles. In Japan, majority of the models are referred to as kei jidosha or kei cars. The headquarters of the company is located in Ikeda, Osaka.
Although, company started exploring its models to Europe in 1960, it was not until 80s when its models began to attract the customers in the European market. In North America, Toyota has been the major company that distributes the Daihatsu vehicles since February 1992.
However, early this year, Daihatsu made a statement saying that they will depart from Europe by 2013 for the fact of having diligently strong yen making it difficult for the company to make profit from exports. The major reason of this announcement is that the Daihatsu’s market dropped immensely from 58,000 (in 2007) to 19,000 (in 2010) because of economic crisis.
Chronological History of Company
- 1907 – Founded Hatsudoki Seizo Co., Ltd.
- 1951 – Company renamed: Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
- 1967 – Signed an agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation
- 1988 – Daihatsu USA launched with the Charade and Rocky
- 1992 – Daihatsu USA shuts down in February
- 1999 – Toyota gains a controlling interest of 51% in Daihatsu Motor Ltd.
- 2011 – Daihatsu states that sales of Daihatsu motor cars will cease across Europe on 31st January 2013.
- 2011 – Daihatsu will invest 20 billion yen ($238.9 million) in Indonesia to build a factory that produces low-cost cars smaller than Etios which has been launched in India in December 2010. It will start operations in 2013 initially producing 50,000 cars in the first year.
Recent Market Withdrawals
Daihatsu has been involved in major withdrawals as well. To begin with, Toyota announced the withdrawal of Daihatsu from Australian market due to immense sales drops in 2005. Daihatsu remained in Australian market for about 40 years and in March 2006, the company completely pulled out of Australian market.
Because of the low sales of Daihatsu in Chile in 2004 and 2005, Toyota decided to draw out of the Chilean market as well. Remember, Chile was a big admirer of Daihatsu’s 1970s models including Charade or Cuore.
Daihatsu has been involved in supplying cars under different badges to several automakers throughout the course of its history. At present, the company is involved in providing engines and transmissions to the Malaysian Perodua known for manufacturing and marketing rebadged Daihatsu cars in the local market as well as in United Kingdom.
If we talk about Trinidad and Tobago, Daihatsu has its market there since 1958. At that time Midget Mk.I was the big attraction. From 1978 to 2001, there was only a single vendor who sold the Charmant, Rocky and Fourtrak, however, Terios and Grand Move became the other popular vendors. The Delta chassis was introduced in the region back in 1985 and since then it has remained a popular choice. At present, Toyota Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. sells the Daihatsu’s Terios, Sirion and YRV.
Besides all these, Daihatsu has also introduced its hybrid and electric cars in the market. Daihatsu Mild Hybrid System is the name given to the current hybrid vehicle technology. Popular examples are Atrai and Hijet Hybrid-IV.