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Daihatsu – Oldest Japanese Car Manufactures steps foot in Philippines
Daihatsu Kogyo Kabushiki Gaisha or more commonly known as Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd is a leading Japanese automobile manufacturing company. It was founded on 1957 and has its headquarters in Ikeda in Osaka, Japan. It specializes in producing mostly off road vehicles in addition to other small car models. It must be noted that Daihatsu is the oldest car manufacturing company in Japan. The name "Daihatsu" is derived from by taking initials from "Osaka" and "hatsudoki seizo" (engine manufacture).
Daihatsu was established after Hatsudoki Seizo Co Ltd was restructured in 1957. It was founded on 1st March 1907 following advancement in automobile technology by Osaka University's Engineering Department. Its initial engine design was based on a gasoline engine used to power small stationary power plants. It was also known as "Kei Jidousha" (meaning "Kei Cars") in Japan.
It was marketed in North America as a subsidiary division of Japanese multinational company – Toyota after an agreement that was signed in 1967. A diesel motor division by the name "Daihatsu Diesel Motor Manufacturing Company" was established in 1966. It specialized in producing diesel generators, marine engines and other such equipment. Daihatsu achieved unprecedented success in Europe after its debut in 1960. It had witnessed record breaking sales in Europe during the 1980s.
Following a huge economic and financial crisis during the period from 2007 – 2011, Daihatsu had to pull out of its European market as sales plummeted from 58,000 units to 12,000 units (representing a huge 21% decrease). Another major reason for its departure from Europe was Yen's (Japanese currency) superiority over Euro (European currency) that made exports less profitable for the company.
Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd entered into an agreement with leading Japanese multinational automobile manufacturing company Toyota in 1967. Toyota later acquired about 51% of controlling shares in Daihatsu in 1988. The present company share holders consists of Toyota Motor Corporation (51.2%), MS & AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc (1.63%), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (0.92%), Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (0.69%), The Vanguard Group Inc (0.60%), OHGI Shokai Co Ltd (1.18%), Norges Bank Investment Management (0.59%) and Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co Ltd (0.51%).
Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd is currently managed by Representative Director & President Masanori Mitsui, Chairman of Board Koichi Ina, Directors & Senior Managing Executive officers – Naoto Kitagawa, Yasunori Nakawaki, Masahiro Fukutsuka, Makota Irie and Tatsuya Kaneko. It also has IR Contacts Etsuo Amamiya and Toshikatsu Tabayashi as Office Support Center Officer & Head Office Support Center respectively.
Daihatsu has a range of exclusive & premium car models which consist of commercial vehicles, trucks, passenger cars, etc. Daihatsu Philippines offers many such premium vehicles including Hi Jet, Atrai, Charade, Charade CS Automatic, Feroza, Opti, Spider, Jeep and Rocky, etc. Other car models consists of Altis, Ayala, Bee, Valeria, Xenia, Ceria, Consorte, Copen, Domino, Fourtrak, Max, Midget, ESse, Gran Max, Fellow Max, Grand Move, Move, Leeza, Naked, Sirion, Sonica, Sportrak, Taft, Tanto, Taruna, Terios and YRV.
Daihatsu planned a major expansion into the ASEAN market with the establishment of a manufacturing unit in Indonesia after an investment of over 20 billion Yen in 2011. It has been entirely devoted to the production of low-cost passenger and commercial vehicles. The 70,000 square meters facility which has an annual production capacity of 100,000 cars was inaugurated on 27th May 2011. This project has been a life saver for the otherwise dwindling Daihatsu Empire after it had to cease sales in Europe on 31st January 2013 as profits started falling drastically.
Marketing & Sales
Daihatsu markets its products to many countries all across the globe. Major such destinations include ASEAN countries of Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, etc., along with Chile and Trinidad & Tobago. It had pulled out of Australia in 2005 after sales dropped drastically. It was announced on 8th April 2013 that Daihatsu would stop the sale of new cars in New Zealand at the beginning of 2014. Daihatsu still has a small presence with car models such as Charade, Scion and Miras. According to a company survey conducted in July 2014, it has sold over 490,017 minicars in Japan and had total worldwide sales of 793,192 units.