Minicars, that Japanese specialty with a pint-sized (0.66 liter) enginelet, still commands a market share of more than 30 percent in Japan. It used to be more. Toyota didn’t play in that segment, that’s what Daihatsu was for. Today, The Nikkei [sub] reports that Toyota will enter the minicar market. Wait a minute, wasn’t that what Daihatsu was for? Oh, they still are …
In a communiqué, Toyota announced that “Daihatsu is to supply minivehicles to TMC on an original-equipment-manufacturer’s basis for sale in Japan.” In other words, Toyota will rebadge Daihatsus and sell them through the Toyota dealer network. Which will make Daihtasu dealers just giddy with joy.
But don’t worry, “even with this development, TMC will continue to mainly focus on full-size vehicles and Daihatsu on minivehicles.”
Phew. Glad they mentioned that.