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The Japanese automobile manufacturer called Daihatsu is also one of the oldest surviving Japanese manufacturers of the internal combustion engine (ICE).

This section contains links to a range of Daihatsu cars and trucks with other interesting news items issued by their headquarters in Japan.

Daihatsu Motors Origins and Background

The location of the Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. company headquarters is Ikeda, in the Osaka Prefecture of Japan.

In years gone by, Daihatsu was better known for building 3-wheeled vehicles and different types of off-road vehicles. Nowadays, the range includes:

Daihatsu also produces a range of entry-level compact cars in Japan and in Southeast Asia. They use the Toyota brand name to supply some of these vehicles to global emerging markets.

Since 2021, the presence of Daihatsu has been limited to Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia (trading under the guise of Perodua). This company has created research and development resources, manufacturing facilities, and sales operations.

When was Daihatsu Officially Formed?

The official formation of Daihatsu took place on the 1st of March in 1951. It became the successor to Hatsudoki Seizo Co. Ltd, which was originally founded in 1907.

In the early days, the company focused on automobile production and its related technologies. In fact, this was also the period when General Motors (1927) and Ford (1925) opened their factories in Japan.

Daihatsu first started exporting its range of cars to Europe in the 1960s. Despite this early start, they suffered a few decades of slow sales until the end of the 1980s.

Toyota becomes a Major Shareholder

Daihatsu lost its status as an independent automaker when the Toyota Motor Corporation became a shareholder in 1967. This allowed the Japanese government to open up the domestic market.

By 1995, Toyota had increased its shareholding in Daihatsu to 33.4% (up from 16.8%). This was a time when the company was producing a range of mini-vehicles and small cars under contract for Toyota. Plus, the shareholding had increased again to 51.2% by 1998.

Daihatsu Pulls Out of European Market

Citing a strong yen, Daihatsu had decided to pull out of the European market by 2013. In addition, the financial crisis of 2007/08 meant Daihatsu's exports had already plummeted outside of Japan.

The next major change occurred in August 2016. This was when Daihatsu became a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Here's the thing:

The following year, Daihatsu and Toyota established a "joint internal company" for the development of compact vehicles. Hence, the 'Emerging-market Compact Car Company' was set up to target the emerging markets.

In Thailand, they renamed the support company (TMAP-EM) to Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TDEM).

Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA)

The announcement of a new vehicle architecture between Daihatsu and Toyota came in October 2016, called the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA).

This was the period when they revealed the second-generation Daihatsu Mira e:S kei car, in 2017. Following that, the company revised the definition of DNGA and launched the fourth-generation Tanto.

According to information sourced from Wikipedia...

In December 2023, the company halted shipments of 64 models, including kei, Mazda, Subaru, and two dozen branded as Toyota, after safety investigations uncovered misconduct far greater in scope than previously expected.

In some models, the airbag control unit used in testing was different from the part installed on vehicles sold to the public. Results of speed tests and headrest impact tests had also been falsified.

The cases went back as far as 1989 and became particularly prevalent after 2014. Affected markets included Japan as well as Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

The company announced that it would shut down all four of its manufacturing plants in Japan until the end of January 2024.


Daihatsu Sales Ceased across Europe

The sales of Daihatsu motor cars have now ceased across Europe. However, we wish to reassure Daihatsu owners that all after sales services will continue unaffected.

Therefore, the supply of spare parts will continue, and any warranty work and servicing will be carried out at the official UK dealer network.


Daihatsu Atrai

Daihatsu Copen

The Daihatsu Copen is a small two door convertible kei car with front-wheel drive and a front engine. So, it has restricted engine specifications and exterior dimensions. Nonetheless, its debut took place at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1999.

Daihatsu Hijet Cargo

Daihatsu Hijet Truck

Kei truck minivans tend to appeal to small-scale, specialist transporters. Even so, these compact pickups are practical, agile, and cheap to run.

This review of the Daihatsu Hijet 4x4 pickup highlights the benefits and disadvantages of running a light commercial vehicle that's only 1.5 metres wide and 3.4 metres long.

Daihatsu Mira e:S

Daihatsu Move Canbus

Daihatsu Tanto Sloper

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