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More than any other, two carmaking giants sit at the top of the industry: Toyota and General Motors. But while GM sells under a (shrinking but still) expansive range of brands, the Toyota Motor Corporation sells most of its vehicles under its own name. That doesn't mean that Toyota, however, doesn't have its own portfolio of subsidiaries. Here in the United States we have the youth-oriented Scion division, while Lexus handles its upscale offerings, and overseas there's Daihatsu.

The budget brand offers a range of small cars under its own name; most are hatchbacks, but there's also the Copen roadster and even a rebadged Camry called the Altis. You may have come across some of their offerings while traveling overseas, particularly in Europe, but that last part is about to come to an end, according to reports.

Word from across the pond is that Toyota plans to withdraw Daihatsu from the European market altogether. The move would reportedly take effect in 2013, and if it comes to pass, would follow similar withdrawals from the North American (1992) and Australian (2006) markets. Thanks for the tip, William!

[Source: Autohaus]


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  • 40 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ahh, I remember the Charade here in the US. What an awful little car it was.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, I remember the Charade and the Rocky 4X4. Forgetable vehicles. Apparently their whole marketing, sales, and quality plans were a charade.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Ahh, I remember the Charade here in the US. What an awful little car it was." - Spartan

        That's because in the US, you didn't get the brilliant GTti version of the third-generation Charade. With 105bhp and 0-60 in less than 8 seconds on tap from a turbocharged 1 litre engine, it held the mantle of the fastest 1 litre production car in the world for many years. Its stats are still impressive even today, but in 1988 it was remarkable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I remember the Charade, Sirion and the little Rocky 4x4 here in Australia and they were / are brilliant little cars and as second-hand examples they make a great buy for someones first car. I don't have a bad thing to say about Diahatsu, they make great little cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      But...but...what car am I gonna play fox hunting with? No more Terios to use in the England countryside?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Never noticed those cars
      Why would I buy something so similar to Toyota when I can buy the real thing?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Except Ford *doesn't* export a whole lot to Europe. It produces cars in Europe paying for labor and parts in *local* currencies (Euro/Pounds/Romanian Leu/Russian Rubel/Turkish Lira)...

      You do realize Japan can "manipulate" their currency despite it being weak or strong? It doesn't follow that they suddenly can't manipulate because it's now too strong.

      Most major central banks agree that China is now keeping their currency undervalued to support Chinese exporters. It's not wholly illogical that Japan did once and would like to again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a Sirion, it is extremely competitive on price, features and safety in its against its main rivals. Not going to win any performance competition, but for a city-car even the 1.0 is enough.

      Ergonomics are well thought of and interior space is surprisingly gigantic for its size. If anyone has experience in building small smart cars it is Daihatsu. Only if spare parts is cheaper...it is more expensive than Skoda Octavia parts!

      And as for performance, lets not forget the Charade Gtti, may it rest in peace.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now if we can just get Toyota to pull out of the American market my wish fulfillment will be complete!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Contrary to what some people have said, Diahatsu infact make very good 'budget' cars that have proven to be extremely efficent, reliable and cheap to maintain automobiles.

      Ironically, the planned withdrawal of the brand from Europe coinsides with 'next generation' renewal of some models in Europe (and globally for other models) including the Corolla (2012 i believe) which could be an indicator of Toyota's wider product plan.

      Furthermore, Toyota Motor Corp currently owns approx 52% of Diahatsu giving them controlling interest however each eqivalent 'hatsu sold nets Toyota about half the income if a 'Toyota' was sold instead so it is possible this may have some influance with 'The Boards' decision aswell.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im sad Diahatsu are leaving Europe, they make some great little cars, The Scion XB was one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      daihats who?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly. Daihatsu? Never seen one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There are too many nameplates in the European market anyway. I don't think anybody will miss Daihatsu. Cutting the brand from the European market will help Toyota Motor Corp.'s bottom line.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @theblackemblem

        The UK is the *only* country in Europe where Perodua is sold.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Right. My bad.

        All the more reason why Daihatsu is irrelevant in UK, though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Weell.. their only decent cars were the Materia and the Sirion, and the Sirion was redundant with Subaru Justy.. aaaand Perodua Myvi.
        I hear that rest of the cars are too slow for the European market.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I drive a Daihatsu Move kei car as a daily commuter. The tiny engine will rev all the way to 8000 rpms, and has an amazing amount of go for such a small package (660cc). The service facilities are outstanding, and they really stand behind their product even when it is old (like mine). I am sorry to hear that they could not make it work in Europe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Forgot to add: the i10 and i20 are from Hyundai.
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