Daihatsu History

Daihatsu is one of the smaller, lesser-known Japanese marques. The company was formed in 1907 as the Hatsudoki Seizo Co., and was later renamed in 1951 as Daihatsu Motor Company. It started exporting cars to Europe in the 1960’s, but sales did not really take off until the 80’s. The company is known mainly as a maker of small, no-frills cars that are, like most Japanese vehicles, quite reliable.

In most countries Daihatsu relies on the Toyota dealership network to sell its vehicles; indeed there are several models that have had both a Daihatsu and a Toyota version. There is a reason for this close relationship- Toyota owns 51% of Daihatsu. The Malaysian company Perodua also manufactures and sells rebadged Daihatsus in its home country.

Daihatsu models

Only two models are marketed in New Zealand- the Sirion and the Terios. Sirion is a supermini/ subcompact that’s also sold in some markets as the Toyota Duet. It comes with either a 1.0 or 1.3-litre engine. Despite the modest dimensions, the Sirion boasts a surprising amount of interior space and, as a bonus, impressive fuel economy. The Terios (also sometimes marketed as the Toyota Cami) is a tiny SUV with a certain chic factor that fulfils the need for those who want the elevated riding position and four-wheel drive capability of an SUV, but still insist on getting these in a small package. Granted, this is a limited demographic, but it’s better to have too much choice than too little. Viewed front-on, its profile is rather narrow, which combined with its height, make it seem somewhat unstable.

Looking at buying a Daihatsu? Check the vehicle history of any Daihatsu by entering its number plate in the field above.