By on February 22, 2011

Daihatsu has dusted off its most unfortunate nameplate for a rather unfortunate rebadge, as Autobild reports that the outgoing Toyota Yaris will be sold in Europe as the Daihatsu Charade starting this year. The 99 HP Charade will be sold for less than the European Yaris, which will be replaced shortly with the model that was recently launched in Japan. So, did Daihatsu’s engineers work out all the “Buru-buru” and “hyoko-hyoko” (“walk with a tremor” and “unsteady steps”)? Or is this just a cheap way to snag some of the low-cost sales that helped Hyundai pass Toyota as the best-selling Asian brand in Europe? Clearly the bosses at Toyota are still struggling with the dynamic that Paul Niedermeyer identified in his Curbside Classic on the Charade, when he wrote

Toyota took a minority ownership stake in Daihatsu in 1967, and upped that to 51% in 1999. Daihatsu was the source for kei-cars for Toyota, allowing it to not spread its resources into that narrow segment. But there has always been an overlap with Daihatsu’s larger cars, many of them having been Toyota rebadges. That’s not the case with the Charade, but Toyota’s Tercel was clearly stepping all over it, especially in the US. It begs the question as to whether Daihatsu has a real future as a word brand, or whether it will eventually be absorbed fully into the Toyota family.

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12 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Return Of The Charade Edition...”

  • avatar

    I think there would be a market for a smaller-engine decontented Yaris in America if it was sold for less than 10K.

  • avatar

    Nothing wrong with the picture. I just wish that Toyo would do that here (De-content the car and sell it as an entry level “get acquainted” brand) It couldn’t do any worse than Scion. Offer it with the three pot 1 litre and sell all manner of soup up toys and it would instantly become the hot car.( I know that I am dreaming big here,but it’s fun to do so).
    A three cylinder super economy car with Toyota’s dealer network would be some great insurance in case the curent unpleasantness in the middle east drags on for years. A shooting war or an overthrow of the House Of Saud could very well send regular unleaded to $7-8 (at least temporarily). Then these cars would be worth their weight in gold.

  • avatar

    That certainly does answer my question, at least for cars in this size category. And when does this start happening at Subaru?

  • avatar

    Dunno about the rest of Europe, but Daihatsu seems to have closed up shop in the UK:

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    I have read that , since real Daihatsus are made in Japan,the strength of the yen makes them too expensive to sell in Europe. Since the Yaris is made in France , the car can be manufactured and sold in Euros.

  • avatar

    I think ‘Charade’ would have been a more appropriate name for the Chevrolet/Daewoo Aveo.

    • 0 avatar

      That would be an shabby libel of the original. I say this as the owner of two daily driver Charades that have proven to be economical, dependable and tough as a Waffle House steak. The 3cylinder 1.0L regularly gets mid 40’s mileage and the 1.3L 4 returns mid 30’s with the three speed slushbox.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I used to see many Charades as well as Rocky’s here in the states particularly in the West Coast. They never marketed and improved their product like say Hyundai and left the market after a few years. Geo Metro was a far better vehicle and the Rocky had tipsy handling like a Samari or other short wheelbase high ground clearence mini utes. $1.50 per gallon fuel probably had an impact as well.

  • avatar

    Bringing back a classic nameplate has been a go-to move for GM and Chrysler, why not Diahatsu?
    Still my favorite car name of all time. I LMAO when Paul did a CC on the original, and I’m glad to see the Charade brand name make a comeback.

  • avatar

    With regards to how you translate “Buru-buru” and “hyoko-hyoko” (“walk with a tremor” and “unsteady steps”)
    I am not sure where you pulled the aforementioned meanings from but in Japanese engineering circles “buru-buru” refers to vertical vibrations around 5 Hz (a region that the human body is extremely sensitive to)  and hyoko-hyoko is more commonly associated with 10 Hz.
    There is also the motion sickness-inducing fuwa-fuwa (0-2 Hz) and harsh, washboard-like gotsu-gotsu (20 Hz).
    Page 3-4
    May 17th, 1999
    Etsunori FUJITA, Hiroshima University, 4-1, Kagamiyama 1 chome, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima Noritoshi NAKAGAWA, Hiroshima University Hiroshi NAKAHIRA, DELTA Tooling, Yanoshin-machi 1-2-10, Aki-ku, Hiroshima Yumi OGURA, DELTA Tooling Shigeyuki KOJIMA, DELTA Tooling,

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