One of the first models to come from increased cooperation between Toyota, its minicar specialist arm Daihatsu and Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries has been launched in Japan.


The 3.8m long, 1.3-litre Subaru Dex subcompact car is the first Subaru-brand model made and supplied by Daihatsu, under an original equipment manufacturer arrangement, for sale in Japan in the wake of the strengthening of capital ties between Fuji Heavy and Toyota.


Daihatsu last year began making a variant of one of its models for Subaru to sell here in Europe as the Justy.


Fuji Heavy had not dealt in subcompact models in Japan as part of its lineup in recent years, although it had been marketing minivehicles with engines of up to 660 cc, Kyodo News noted.


Subaru is aiming the Dex at women in their 20s and 30s.


It is based on Daihatsu’s COO subcompact, exported as the Materia, which is also supplied to Toyota for sale in Japan as the bB subcompact and exported to the US as a Scion.


The Dex is sold with three trim grades including a four wheel drive model for Japan’s snowy regions. The monthly sales target is 500 units.