Toyota’s minicar subsidiary Daihatsu is leaving Europe. Daihatsu will end auto sales in Europe on Jan. 31, 2013, The Nikkei [sub] reports. Reason given: “The yen’s strength has made exporting vehicles from Japan next to impossible.”
Daihatsu had never shifted production to Europe. They exported their cars from Japan, all 19,300 of them sold in Europe in 2010. (The ACEA statistics don’t even list Daihatsu anymore.) That’s down from 58,600 units Daihatsu had sold in Europe in 2007.
Daihatsu is not the only Japanese company that is falling on hard times in Europe. You think the Japanese have a problem with the strong yen versus the Dollar? Nothing compared to the strong Yen versus the weak Euro. Add to that European car sales that are in the doldrums, and you have a recipe for abandoning all hope.
While the European market had shrunk by only 5.5 percent in 2010, many large name Japanese manufacturers are double digit casualties: Toyota -17.4 percent, Suzuki -23.1 percent, Honda -23.9 percent, Mazda -13.9 percent.