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Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
Public company
Traded as TYO: 7262
Industry Automotive
Founded March 1, 1907
Headquarters Osaka, Japan
Key people
Koichi Ina (Chairman)
Masanori Mitsui (President)
Products Automobiles, Engines
Revenue $1.34 billion (2006)
$4 billion (2006)
Number of employees
Parent Toyota Group (51.2%)
Subsidiaries Perodua(25%)
Slogan We Do Compact
We Make It Compact
Innovation for Tomorrow
Daihatsu Sahabatku ("Daihatsu is My Pal", Indonesia only)

Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. (ダイハツ工業株式会社 Daihatsu Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha , TYO: 7262, OSE: 7262) is the oldest Japanese car manufacturer, mostly known for its range of smaller models and off-road vehicles. The headquarters are located in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture.[1] The company is a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) keiretsu.


  • Name 1
  • Background 2
  • Company timeline 3
  • Export markets 4
  • Electrics and hybrids 5
  • Motor cycles 6
  • Vehicles 7
    • Passenger cars 7.1
    • Commercial 7.2
    • Three-wheeled trucks 7.3
    • Racing cars 7.4
  • Plants 8
  • Slogans 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


The name "Daihatsu" is a combination of the first kanji for Ōsaka (大) and the first of the word "engine manufacture" (発動機製造 hatsudōki seizō). In the new combination the reading of the "大" is changed from "ō" to "dai", giving "dai hatsu".


Daihatsu was formed in 1951 as a successor to Hatsudoki Seizo Co. Ltd, founded in 1907, as part of Hatsudoki's major restructure. Hatsudoki's formation was largely influenced by the Engineering Department's faculty of Osaka University, to develop a gasoline powered engine for small stationary power plants.

During the 1960s, Daihatsu began exporting its range to Europe where it did not have major sales success until well into the 1980s. Since February 1992, Toyota distributes Daihatsu models as part of its North American distribution. In Japan, many of Daihatsu's models are also known as kei jidōsha (or kei cars).

Daihatsu Diesel Motor Manufacturing Company[2] was formed in 1966 as an affiliate company to produce marine engines and diesel generators.[3]

In January 2011, Daihatsu announced that it would pull out of Europe by 2013, citing the persistently strong yen, which makes it difficult for the company to make a profit from its export business.[4] Following the financial crisis Daihatsu's sales in Europe plummeted, from 58,000 in 2007 to 12,000 in 2011.[5]

Company timeline

Daihatsu Midget Model DKA, 1957
  • 1907 – Hatsudoki Seizo Co., Ltd. founded
  • 1951 – Company renamed: Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
  • 1963 – Introduces the Daihatsu Compagno which utilized multiple bodystyles on one platform.
  • 1967 – Signed an agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation
  • 1971 - First generation of the Daihatsu Delta Truck model launched in Japan, a Toyota influenced four wheeled six ton cargo lorry.
  • 1975 - Begun to supply diesel engines to the SEMAL company of Portugal for the new PORTARO 4X4 offroad vehicle series.
  • 1987 – Daihatsu enters the US automotive market with the Charade
  • 1988 – Toyota gains a controlling interest (51%) in Daihatsu Motor Ltd. while Daihatsu introduces the Daihatsu Rocky in the US market
  • 1992 – Daihatsu shuts down US sales in February and ceases production of US-spec vehicles.
  • 2002 - Daihatsu resumes building US-spec vehicles with select models from the Scion line-up of vehicles
  • 2011 – Daihatsu states that sales of Daihatsu motor cars will cease across Europe on 31 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 the Toyota Etios which was launched in India in December 2010.[6] The construction has been initialized on 70,000 square meters in May 27, 2011 and will start operation at the end of 2012 for producing 100,000 cars per year.[7]

Export markets

Daihatsu's first export came in 1953, and by 1980 half a million Daihatsu vehicles had been exported.[8] Since the end of the nineties, however, its export markets have seen a steady contraction. This shrinking has been partially offset by the sale of Daihatsu vehicles through the Toyota channel, and the sale of technology to Malaysia's Perodua.

Following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Daihatsu shut their plants in Thailand and withdrew from the market entirely.[9] Until withdrawing in March 1998 they had mostly been selling the Mira range in Thailand, with certain local modifications.

It was reported on 31 March 2005 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 ended its Australian operations in March 2006 after almost forty years in that 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 low sales in 2004 and 2005. However, Toyota has stated that it intends to persist in the Chilean market for now, where only the Terios model is available.

In Trinidad and Tobago, Daihatsu has had a market presence since 1958 when its Mark I Midget was a popular choice among market tradesmen. From 1978 until 2001, a local dealer marketed the Charmant, Rocky, Fourtrak, and then later, the Terios and Grand Move which proved to be popular sellers. The Delta chassis remained a popular market choice from its introduction in 1985 until today. Toyota Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Japan) now markets Daihatsu Terios, YRV and Sirion under stiff competition.

Daihatsu announced on 13 January 2011 that sales of Daihatsu motor cars would cease across Europe on 31 January 2013. This was due to the increasing strength of the Japanese yen, which has increased prices beyond competitive levels. Daihatsu states that there is no stock of new Daihatsu cars in the UK, and they do not expect to import any new cars in this interim period.[10]

Toyota New Zealand announced on 8 April 2013 that sales of new Daihatsu vehicles in the country would end by the end of the year, citing a lack of products that would comply with future NZ regulatory standards. No additional new vehicles were being imported as of the announcement date.[11]

Daihatsu has also supplied cars under different badges to various automakers in the past. The company currently provides engines and transmissions to Malaysia's Perodua, which manufactures and markets rebadged Daihatsu cars locally, and sells a small number of Perodua cars in the United Kingdom. After the launch of Perodua, Daihatsu's Malaysian operations were reduced to concentrate on the commercial vehicles market, selling its Delta and Gran Max commercial truck chassis; Daihatsu had formerly sold Charades and Miras in the country since it first began operations in Malaysia as a joint venture in 1980.

Daihatsu Motors has also manufactured select Scion vehicles for Toyota in the US market since 2002.

Electrics and hybrids

Daihatsu has had a long running development program for electric vehicles, beginning with the production of "pavilion cars" for the 1970 Osaka World Expo and continuing with the production of golf carts and vehicles for institutional use, such as the DBC-1.[12] An electric version of the company's Fellow Max kei car also followed, the beginning of a series of prototypes. The 1973 oil crisis provided further impetus and at the 20th Tokyo Motor Show (1973) Daihatsu displayed a 550 W electric trike (TR-503E)[13] as well as the BCX-III electric car prototype.[14] Daihatsu showed more prototypes through the 1970s, for instance at the 1979 Sydney Motor Show, and then joined the Japanese Electric Vehicle Association's PREET program (Public Rent and Electronic Towncar) with an electric version of the Max Cuore keicar. The program allowed registered users access to the cars with a magnetized card and charged according to mileage used.[15]

In November 1974, Daihatsu released the 'Hallo'(ES38V), a tilting trike powered by an electric motor and two 12V batteries.[16]

The current hybrid vehicle technology is called Daihatsu Mild Hybrid System,[17] and is mainly used in the Atrai/Hijet Hybrid-IV.

Motor cycles

Alongside the electric version of the tilting trike 'Hallo', Daihatsu also released a petrol powered version using a 50cc two stroke engine.


Passenger cars

Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Move-Custom
Daihatsu Materia


Three-wheeled trucks

  • CF (1962) 1¼-ton
  • CM (1962) 1½-ton
  • CO (1963) 2-ton
  • PL (1962) 1-ton
  • SCB (1955), SDB
  • SKC ¾-ton
  • SDF (1956) 1-ton, SSDF 1½-ton
  • RKO (1956) 2-ton
  • RKM (1957)
  • PM, PO (1958)
  • BO (1962)
  • Midget (1957-1972)
  • V300 (1966)

Racing cars



  • We do COMPACT
  • We make it COMPACT
  • Innovation for Tomorrow
  • Daihatsu Sahabatku (Indonesia only, English: Daihatsu Is my Pal)
  • ワールドミニで未来を創る (Roma-ji:Warudo de mirai o tsuku sore, English:Create The future in the world Mini)
  • ワンダフルスモール (Roma-ji:Wandafuru Sumoru, English:Wonderful Small, 2003-2007)
  • それ、ダイハツがやります (Roma-ji:Sore, Daihatsu ga yarimasu, English:Now, Daihatsu will Spear)
  • テーマは、品質。 (Roma-ji:Tema wa, Hinshitsu, English:The theme, The Quality)
  • ひとりひとりを楽しくする品質。Goodが、ギュッと。 (Roma-ji:Hitorihitori o tanoshiku suru hinshitsu. Good ga, gyutto, English:Quality and fun each and every. Good it is, tight)
  • もっと軽にできること。 (Roma-ji:Motto kei ni dekiru koto, English:It can be more light)


  1. ^ "Corporate Info." Daihatsu. Retrieved on February 5, 2010.
  2. ^ "History - DAIHATSU DIESEL". Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Products - DAIHATSU DIESEL". Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Strong Yen Forces Daihatsu Out of Europe - Industry Week, 14 January 2011
  5. ^ "New Vehicle Registrations - By Manufacturer (2011)." ACEA. Retrieved on March 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "Toyota Plans Low-Cost Car for Traffic-Choked Indonesia". The Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  7. ^ "Kontan Online - Daihatsu plans to spend Rp 2.1 trillion on new factory". 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  8. ^ Daihatsu (stockholder brochure), Daihatsu Motor Company, 1986, p. 24 
  9. ^ Piszczalski, Martin (2002-04-01), "Thailand Tales: Profits Still Elusive", Plastics Technology (Gardner Business Media), retrieved 2012-11-25 
  10. ^ "Daihatsu UK". 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  11. ^ "Toyota New Zealand". 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  12. ^ Kobori, Kazunori (2007). ダイハツ 日本最古の発動機メーカーの変遷 [Daihatsu: The History of Japan's Oldest Engine Company] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Miki Press. p. 56.  
  13. ^ Kobori, Daihatsu, p. 60
  14. ^ Kobori, Daihatsu, pp. 67-68
  15. ^ Lösch, Annamaria, ed. (1981), "Electric Cars", World Cars 1981 (Pelham, NY: The Automobile Club of Italy/Herald Books): 44,  
  16. ^ "Daihatsu History". 2013-02-27. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  17. ^ DAIHATSU:Motor Show Archived July 4, 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links

  • Daihatsu (official site in Japanese)
  • Daihatsu (English site)
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