is a Japanese
manufacturer of cars
, well known for its smaller models and off-road vehicles. Many of its models are also known as kei jidosha (or kei cars)
The name "Daihatsu" is a combination of the first kanji for Osaka (大) and the first of the word ; when put together they are pronounced "dai hatsu."
Daihatsu was formed in 1951 as successor organisation to Hatsudoki, and by the 1960s had started exporting cars to Europe, although it did not enjoy any major sales success until well into the 1980s.
Since February 1992 in North America, it has been common for Toyota to distribute Daihatsu models.
- 1907 – Hatsudoki Seizo Co., Ltd. founded
- 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, Toyota is now known for Daihatsu models to the US
- 1999 – Toyota gains a controlling interest in (51% market share) Daihatsu Motor Ltd.
Recent market withdrawals
It was reported on 31 March
that Toyota would withdraw Daihatsu from the Australian
market after sales fell heavily in 2005, in spite of the overall new-car market in Australia growing 7%. Daihatsu wound up its Australian operations in March 2006 after almost 40 years in the market.
Daihatsu's operations in Chile – where Daihatsu is a well-known brand for its 1970s models such as the Charade or Cuore – were also threatened after very low sales in 2004 and 2005. However, Toyota has stated that it intends to persist in the Chile market for now.
Daihatsu has supplied cars under different badges to various different automakers in the past, and also supplies engines and transmissions to one of Malaysia's largest car makers, Perodua, which sells cars in the United Kingdom.
The hybrid vehicle
technology is called Daihatsu Mild Hybrid System
, mainly used in Atrai
Passenger car models