Toyota currently owns 51.2 percent of Daihatsu Motor Company but that is set to change by August of this year. This will see Japan’s oldest car manufacturer become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota in a deal that is worth somewhere in the region of £2.1 billion.
The intention is to improve Toyota’s small cars through a unified strategy. Separate management structures will be maintained and a competitive spirit between the companies will be fostered. Each manufacturer will retain an individual focus; Daihatsu will develop ways to improve fuel efficiency, for example, while Toyota will seek to reduce environmental impact and further improve passenger safety, among other things.
The takeover means that Daihatsu, who stopped selling cars in the UK in 2011, will become a global brand again. The newly-acquired company’s worldwide sales slipped 13.3 percent in 2015. In contrast, the Toyota group maintained its position as the globe’s biggest car manufacturer for that year, despite sales being down on 2014.
Toyota’s President, Akio Toyoda, said, “This is an opportunity for us both to stop feeling that we need to go it alone, and trust each other to take full advantage of our respective strengths.” He added, “In other words, we can now focus on our core competencies. That, I believe, is the key to achieving and sustaining global competitiveness.”
How this affects the UK market is uncertain at this point but with Toyota to assume full control of Daihatsu, could this see the re-emergence of the brand on these shores?
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