Author`s name Alex Naumov

Daihatsu to develop low-cost models for Indonesia and Malaysia

Minicar specialist Daihatsu Motor Co. said it is interested in developing a low-cost model.

Daihatsu aims to increase global output 7 percent in 2008 as it shifts production overseas to meet rising demand in markets including Indonesia and Malaysia. The company will make 1.47 million vehicles next year, it said in a statement today.

Daihatsu Motor Co. is a Japanese manufacturer of cars, well known for its smaller models. Many of its models are also known as kei jidosha (or kei cars) in Japan.

It was reported on 31 March 2005, that Toyota would exit Daihatsu from the Australian market, after sales fell heavily in 2005, in spite of the overall new-car market in Australia growing 7%. Daihatsu wound up its Australian operations in March 2006 after almost 40 years in the market.

Daihatsu's operations in Chile – where Daihatsu is a well-known brand for its 1970s models such as the Charade or Cuore – were also threatened after very low sales in 2004 and 2005. However, Toyota has stated that it intends to persist in the Chile market for now.

Daihatsu has supplied cars under different badges to various different automakers in the past, and also supplies engines and transmissions to one of Malaysia's largest car makers, Perodua, which sells cars in the United Kingdom and Malaysia

Source: agencies