Toyota is to take full control of Daihatsu in a move that’s aimed at enhancing the small car expertise of both companies. Under the deal, Toyota boss Akio Toyoda has said the Daihatsu brand will be given an “equal position with the Toyota and Lexus brands”.
Daihatsu, Japan’s longest-surviving car maker, has been a subsidiary of Toyota since 1998 and the pair have worked together since the late 1960s. Now the world’s largest car company has agreed to buy the remainder of Daihatsu shares in a deal said to be worth about $3 billion (about £2bn). Toyota then plans to delist Daihatsu from the stock exchange on 27 July.
In a statement, Toyota said the purpose of the agreement is “to develop ever-better cars by adopting a unified strategy for the small car segment, under which both companies will be free to focus on their core competencies”.
“We at Toyota are fixated on our need to cover our own bases,” said Toyoda. “I have frequently worried that we haven’t been able to make our presence felt in the small car market.
“Toyota and Daihatsu first collaborated in 1967 and that relationship is why we are able to entrust this part of our car business to Daihatsu.
“Daihatsu has a spontaneous, down-to-earth nature and I think we have a lot to learn from them.
“Small cars will continue to be the focus of Daihatsu’s efforts. The company excels in the kind of engineering needed to make affordable and high-quality products."
The two companies will share bases of operations and co-operate on the development of new technology for small cars. Daihatsu will be able to tap into Toyota’s expertise at electric powertrains, autonomous driving technology and global might.