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Daihatsu Cars


From Daihatsu Midget to Daihatsu Terios, Daihatsu cars are always the first few choices in our mind when thinking about smaller off-road cars or kei cars in Japan.

Daihatsu (Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. or ダイハツ工業株式会社in Japanese) is a famous Japanese carmaker and specialized in manufacturing smaller cars as well as kei cars in Japan. Daihatsu was founded in 1907 as Hatsudoki Seizo Co., Ltd and it was renamed to Daihatsu in 1951.

Daihatsu Logo

Daihatsu logo

In early times, many three wheel cars were introduced by Daihatsu. The purpose of using three wheels is to give a better fuel consumption due to oil crisis at that time. 1958 Daihatsu Bee that fitted with 540cc engine is one of the best car at that time. On the other hand, we also see the birth of Daihatsu Compagno and Daihatsu Consorte during 1960s.

During 1970s, Daihatsu is famous in Japan but it did not gain any famed in European market and US market until 1980s. In the 1980s, we saw the birth of several notable Daihatsu cars such as the Daihatsu Applause, Taft, Charade, and Rocky. These few cars had made Daihatsu gained an international automaker image. In 1999, Toyota bought over nearly 52% of Daihatsu’s share and owned it until today.

Daihatsu Cars History and Significant Models

  • Daihatsu Terios (1997 – present) – If you look for a mini-size SUV, you should put the Terios as one of your choices. Daihatsu Terios is fitted with 1.3L engine and a 5-speed manual transmission.
  • Daihatsu Sirion (1998 – present) – A dependable subcompact car.
  • Daihatsu F50 (1974 – 1984) – Although the production of Daihatsu Taft has ceased, this four-wheel-drive Daihatsu F50 is still highly demand in the automobile market today.
  • Daihatsu Charade (since 1977) – Daihatsu Charade is one of the most notable Daihatsu cars over the years. It was replaces with Daihatsu Sirion in 2000. There is some customized Daihatsu Charade Turbo available for sale in the market today.
  • Daihatsu Hijet (1960 – present) – Daihatsu Hijet is a reliable pickup truck and microvan manufactured by Daihatsu. It is good for SME business.
  • Daihatsu Rocky (1987 – 1998) – Mini SUV.
  • Daihatsu Copen (2002 – present) – One of the most sought-after Daihatsu mini cars. The Copen is a 2-door convertible roadster with an aluminium retractable hardtop. It is cute yet fun to drive.
  • Daihatsu Midget (1957 – 1972, 1996 – 2002) – One of the best single-seat mini-truck in the world.
  • Daihatsu Mira (1980 – present) – Trust me, it is a very “handy” car.

Daihatsu has been living on earth for more than a century. Daihatsu models are too many to be listed here. Besides the few significant Daihatsu models listed above, there are many other momentous Daihatsu cars such as the Daihatsu F20, Daihatsu Feroza, Daihatsu YRV (Young Recreational Vehicle), Daihatsu Bego, Daihatsu Charmant, Daihatsu Gran Max, Daihatsu Fourtrak, and some other Daihatsu mini cars and trucks.

Daihatsu never changed their principle in making small and efficient car to the world. Today’s Daihatsu cars are better in terms of performance and modern look but still in smaller size and efficient to be used. Daihatsu, Innovation for Tomorrow!


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