The History of Daihatsu

Daihatsu is called the 'big maker of small cars'. This company produces mostly compact models with small engines and is a subsidiary of Toyota, headquartered in Osaka.

The first Daihatsu engineThe history of Daihatsu, however, goes back almost a century - it counts from 1907, when professors from Osaka University Yoshinki and Turumi founded a company to produce and sell internal combustion engines for industrial purposes. The company was named Hatsudoki Seizo Co. By the way, Daihatsu as a brand name came much later, and at first Hatsudoki Seizo produced engines that ran on natural gas and were used in marine, mining and power industries. With the advent of cars in the Hatsudoki thought about the prospects for their production and in 1919 produced two prototype trucks. These trucks and the results of their tests prompted the company's management to focus further attention specifically on automobiles. However, their mass production did not begin until 1930, when Hatsudoki produced the HA three-wheeler with a 500cc engine; by modern standards it was more a motorcycle than a car. Nevertheless, the HA was Japan's first domestically produced car. Over the next 8 years, 4 more models were produced, including Japan's first compact 4-wheeler, heralding the company's future development toward smaller cars. Demand for Hatsudoki products grew very rapidly, production expanded, and in 1938 a new plant, Ikeda, was commissioned. In the same year, Hatsudoki produced another prototype car, an all-wheel-drive open-top sports model equipped with a 1.2-liter engine and a 3-speed transmission. The car had a top speed of up to 70 km/h.

By 1970, Daihatsu was the first Japanese automaker to begin exporting its cars to the United Kingdom, and over the next decade, Daihatsu's export scope expanded worldwide. In 1971, a hardtop version of the Fellow model appeared, and a year later, in 1972, a 4-door sedan. At the same time, the engine power was reduced from 40 hp to 37 for fuel economy reasons. In export version, Fellow was called Daihatsu 360. 1974 - The company was renamed from Daihatsu Kogyo to Daihatsu Motor Company. 1975 - Daihatsu Charmant compact model is produced on the basis of Toyota Corolla. 1976 - appearance of Cuore (Domino) model with 2-cylinder 547 cc engine and the first all-wheel drive off-road vehicle Taft produced by the company (it was equipped with the whole range of engines - from liter gasoline to 2.5 liter diesel), 1977 - Charade model.

In 1980, a commercial version of the Cuore called the Mira Cuore appeared, in 1982 it was renamed the Mira, and a year later its turbo version came out. The following year, 1984, the Taft model was replaced by the Rocky SUV, and assembly of Daihatsu cars began in China. By 1985, the total number of cars produced in the history of Daihatsu reached 10 million units, Alfa Romeo began producing Charade for the Italian market. The mini-cars were very popular in Europe, and Daihatsu sales in the European market were steadily increasing. In 1986, the Charade assembly began in China, and a new model - the 3-door Leeza, available also in turbo version, developing 50 hp. New models were also introduced in 1989 - they were Applause and Feroza.

In March 1990, the new-generation Mira was equipped with the 4WS system along with 4WD for the first and only time in the history of compact car production. Daihatsu signed a technology agreement with the Korean company Asia Motors and released the Sportrak model. In 1992, Daihatsu replaced Leeza model with 3-door Opti, and in Italy at a joint venture with Piaggio V.E. began production of Hijet. In 1993, the Charade Gtti took first place in the A-7 class in the 41st Safari Rally, while the Opti received a 5-door version. In August 1995, a new compact car, the Move, was introduced on the Japanese market. Its design was developed in conjunction with the Italian company IDEA and displayed a relaxation in the allowed size of K-cars upwards. With a small length, the body of the Move has a height that allows the driver to ride in a high hat. A year later, in 1996, a more traditional size model - Gran Move (Pyzar), as well as Midget II and Opti Classic models with retro design of the front body was released. 1997 - the company turns 90 years old, and the number of cars manufactured during these years reaches 10 million copies. The range is supplemented by a compact all-wheel-drive Terios and retro-designed Mira Classic. The Move family is supplemented by the Move Custom. Do not forget to use Daihatsu VIN decoder in order to avoid potential problems when buying a used car.

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