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 carmanufacturer, mostly known for its range of smaller models and off-road vehicles. The headquarters are located in IkedaOsaka Prefecture.

March 1, 1907
Osaka, Japan
Key people
Koichi Ina (Chairman)
Masanori Mitsui (President)
Toyota Group (51.2%)


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 was formed in 1966 as an affiliate company to produce marine engines and diesel generators.
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. Following the financial crisis Daihatsu's sales in Europe plummeted, from 58,000 in 2007 to 12,000 in 2011.

Company timeline

  • 1907 – Hatsudoki Seizo Co., Ltd. founded
  • 1951 – Company renamed: Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
  • 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.
  • 1988 – Daihatsu USA launched with the Charade and Rocky
  • 1992 – Daihatsu USA shuts down in February
  • 1999 – Toyota gains a controlling interest (51%) in Daihatsu Motor Ltd.
  • 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. 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.
Daihatsu Midget Model DKA, 1957

List of Daihatsu car models

Current models
Ayla, Atrai/Hijet, Be-go/Terios, Boon/Sirion, Coo/Materia, Mira/Cuore/Charade, Mira Cocoa, Move, Tanto, Tanto Exe, Xenia
Historic models
Altis, Applause, Bee, Ceria, Charade, Charmant, Compagno, Copen, Cuore, Consorte, Domino, Esse, Leeza/Leeza Spider, Fellow Max, Max, Midget, Mira Gino/Trevis, Naked, Opti, Gran Move/Pyzar, Rocky/Feroza/Sportrak, Rugger/Rocky/Fourtrak, Sirion/Storia, Sonica, Taft/Scat, Taruna, Valera, YRV
Concept cars
Ai, Basket, Copen (1999), Costa, D-Bone, D-Compact X-Over, Deca Deca, Extol, EZ-U, FFC, HVS, Micros-3R, OFC-1, SK-Tourer, SP-4, U4B, UFE2, UFE-III, X-021, Mudmaster C
Race cars
P3, P5
Daihats Move-Custom


Following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Daihatsu shut their plants in Thailand and withdrew from the market entirely. 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 40 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, one of Daihatsu's top sales are Feroza.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Daihatsu has had a market presence since 1958 when its Midget Mk.I 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 will 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.
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.
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 truck market, which it markets its Delta and Gran Max commercial truck chassis to; Daihatsu had formerly sold Charades and Miras in the country prior.
Daihatsu Copen

Electric and hybrid

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. 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) as well as the BCX-III electric car prototype. 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 ElectronicTowncar) 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.
In November 1974, Daihatsu released the 'Hallo'(ES38V), a tilting trike powered by an electric motor and two 12V batteries.
The current hybrid vehicle technology is called Daihatsu Mild Hybrid System, and is mainly used in the Atrai/Hijet Hybrid-IV.
Daihatsu Move-Custom
Daihatsu Materia

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 car models

  • Altis / Toyota Corolla Altis, Toyota Camry
  • Applause
  • Atrai ( with hybrid vehicle versions).
  • Bee
  • Ceria
  • Charade / Toyota Vitz
  • Charmant / Toyota Corolla
  • Compagno
  • Consorte
  • Copen
  • Cuore
  • Domino
  • Esse
  • Grand Move/Pyzar
  • Gran Max
  • Fellow Max
  • Fourtrak / Toyota Blizzard
  • Hijet
  • Luxio
  • Materia/Coo / Toyota bB
  • Max
  • Mebius
  • Midget
  • Mira
  • Move
  • Leeza
  • Naked
  • Opti
  • Rocky
  • Sirion/Storia / Toyota Duet
  • Sirion/Boon / Toyota Passo
  • Sonica
  • Sportrak
  • Taft
  • Tanto
  • Taruna
  • Terios / Toyota Cami
  • Terios/Be-Go / Toyota Rush
  • Valera
  • Xenia / Toyota Avanza
  • Daihatsu YRV/ECHO Verso

Racing cars

  • P3
  • P5


  • Ikeda (Osaka prefecture), also headquarters
  • Ryuo (Shiga prefecture)
  • Tada (Hyōgo Prefecture)
  • Oyamazaki (Kyoto prefecture)
  • Sunter II (Indonesia) - Astra Daihatsu
  • Cumana, Estado Sucre (Venezuela) - Terios
  • Seoul, South Korea
Last updated on 24 October 2013 at 18:43.


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