NEWS: Toyota to buy Daihatsu, make it a global brand

1974 Daihatsu Charmant

Toyota has announced it will buy out Daihatsu in a stock deal worth about $3 billion. The Big T currently owns a controlling stake in the small car manufacturer, approximately 51.2 percent, and Daihatsu has served as Toyota’s kei and compact car arm since the companies began their alliance in 1967. Though they have shared many platforms in the past (the photo above is a Toyota Corolla-based Daihatsu Charmant), the formation into a single company will allow Toyota to take the Daihatsu brand global. 

Daihatsu Charade 1300

Does this mean we will once again have Daihatsu Charades in the US? Not likely. Toyota wants an entry-level brand that will appeal to emerging markets. According to Reuters:

The companies intend to develop Daihatsu into a global brand as they focus on growing markets for compact cars, noting that entry-level car markets were expanding due to economic development and that vehicles were becoming smaller due to environmental and traffic concerns.

Daihatsu will also be quicker to adopt Toyota’s technology. Between Daihatsu and its biggest competitor, Suzuki, the two own about 30 percent of the massive kei car market in Japan. Suzuki has been partnering with Nissan and Mitsubishi to offer them re-badged kei cars as well.

Daihatsu Charmant

Daihatsu is one of Japan’s oldest engine manufacturers, founded in 1907 as Osaka Movers Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and building stationary internal combustion engines for industrial use. In 1930 it offered its first vehicle, a 3-wheeled truck. A business alliance was formed with Toyota in 1967, but Toyota did not acquire a majority stake until 1998. By August 2016, it will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp.

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13 Responses to NEWS: Toyota to buy Daihatsu, make it a global brand

  1. Power Tryp said:

    Might be worth considering moving some Daihatsu models into the Scion brand since the Tc and Xb models really aren’t making any sort of market impression now that they’ve dropped the whole edgy teen marketing strategy.

    Nearly option free small cars would actually suit the whole affordable performance sheen that the FRS has brought to the Scion brand.

  2. JovaTecH said:

    Toyota needs bring back Daihatsu back to North America like the late 80’s

  3. mister k said:

    gobble gobble gobble you bloated behemoth

  4. Brignola said:

    The Charade ad must have been from Holland or Belgium where the brand used to be very succesful thanks to Charade, Justy and especially Feroza 4WD. Unfortunately Daihatsu has also disappeared in those two countries, I myself never owned a Daihatsu but I did drive a MIni Innocenti powerd by the Charade’s 3-cylinder engine. Anybody remember that Italo-Japanese automotive adventure? Loved that little car but I was not very proficient at welding in those days and lost it to the dreaded rust-bug.

  5. Ant said:

    I’ve a soft spot for Daihatsu. We had them in the UK for quite a long time, but the brand pulled out after the global financial crisis in 2008. Like Suzuki, few of their vehicles are really class-leading (outside of Japan), and they’ve made some rather dull cars in the past, but they have a unique creative streak too. The roads are a better place with cars like the Copen on them.

  6. Daniel said:

    Ok toyota, make a comeback daihatsu to argentina!!!
    Great cars, not so god post service because the circunstances (first entry 79 to 83, second 91 to 2002 more o less) still, many of them in the road

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