Daihatsu says having only around a 25 percent share of the Japanese subcompact market is not good enough for a subsidiary of Toyota which aims to achieve more than 40 percent of the domestic car market.
So it has set a new programme called “D Vision100” in place to improve product competitiveness and reduce costs by 20 to 30 percent by 2007 when Daihatsu will commemorate its 100th anniversary.
In 2000, Daihatsu sold 549,000 vehicles, up 5.1 percent from 1999, and 520,000 of those were subcompacts.
Daihatsu’s market share increased to 28.8 percent, which narrowed the difference between it and Suzuki, the top subcompact manufacturer, from 3.8 percent to 2.8 percent.
This sales increase was due to strong sales of new compact models (Atrai and YRV) and revised subcompacts (Mira Gino, Naked, and Atrai Aerodown Bullet).
Toyota increased its stake in Daihatsu from 34.5 percent to 51.2 percent in 1998 to make Daihatsu a fully-fledged subsidiary of Toyota.
Toyota wanted to gain Daihatsu’s subcompact expertise, from development to production, which it was confident would soon dominate the global market for the sector that is strongest in Japan and south-east Asia.
Daihatsu has recently started supplying the Storia, an OEM model, to Toyota and also produces petrol engines for the Yaris (Vitz/Echo).
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