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Known for its small cars and off-road vehicles, Daihatsu is considered as one of the oldest car manufacturers in Japan today. During its early years, Daihatsu was known as Hatsudoki Seizo Co. Ltd.?an internal combustion engine manufacturing company that was focused mainly on producing industrial engines. With the emergence of automobiles, Hatsudoki created two prototype trucks that performed really well and because of this, the brand decided to pursue making cars. In 1930, the brand launched its first production vehicle that was known as the Model HA. This three-wheeler ride is the first domestically produced car in Japan, making it an important milestone in the history of Japanese automobiles. It was not until 1951 that the company's name was changed to Daihatsu, which means "Osaka Great Manufacturer". The following decade, Daihatsu entered into an agreement with multinational Japanese automaker Toyota. And after several years, the brand finally found its way to American shores when two models were launched in the US?Charade and Rocky. During the 80s, Daihatsu found great success in terms of sales, but before the year 1999 ended, it officially became a part of the Toyota family.Hijet
Daihatsu's Hijet is the brand's famous line of micro vans and pickup trucks. Starting its production in 1960, this line is considered as the rival of Honda's Acty, Subaru's Sambar, Mitsubishi's Minicab, and Suzuki's Carry. The first Hijet was equipped with a 360 cc two-stroke engine and overtime, this evolved into better versions as the brand adapted the latest technological advancements from the automotive industry.
The fifth generation Hijet was the first to receive a ton of attention from the export market. This vehicle was characterized by a matured body style appearance that came along with a 182 cm wheelbase. It also came in several versions starting the Jumbo?an extended cab high-roof truck that had a very balanced look. After that came the Climber?a four-wheel-drive high-profile tire version. And last but definitely not least was the Daihatsu Atrai?a passenger van that was offered with a turbo engine version.Diesel Motor Manufacturing
Because Daihatsu was initially a producer of engines, it decided to come up with a spin off engine manufacturing arm in 1966. This brand-new company was known as the Daihatsu Diesel Motor Manufacturing Company. This brand provides the market with heavy-duty marine engines and diesel generators. After acquiring an ISO9001 accreditation in 1994, the company remains to be one of the most trusted engine manufacturers in the world today.
Greenhouse gases, shortage of the earth's resources, and environmental issues?these are just some the alarming things that have pushed Daihatsu to pursue efforts in going green. So aside from the brand's small cars and off-road vehicles, Daihatsu is now well-known for its line of hybrid cars. This all started with the company's development of its own electric vehicles, which included the so-called pavilion cars. This particular prototype was introduced to the market during the 1970 Osaka World Expo. In addition, Daihatsu has also been creating golf carts and vehicles intended for institutional use like the DBC-1. The 1973 oil crisis fueled this initiative even more and during the Tokyo Motor Show that same year, Daihatsu came up with two vehicles?a 550 W electric trike called the TR-503E and an electric car called the BCX-III. Throughout the 70s, Daihatsu created and showcased more electric vehicle prototypes. And in line with this, the brand created several electric versions of some of its popular models like the Fellow Max and Max Cuore.Compact cars
Typically, the main concept of hybrid cars is to produce automobiles that use up less gasoline as compared to other conventional cars. This is made possible by having two or more power sources in one car. Since fuel-efficient cars burn less gasoline, they also emit less carbon dioxide, which is a major pollutant in the earth's atmosphere. However, hybrid vehicles aren't all that perfect because they tend to weigh more due to their large motors. And if a car weighs more, it also needs more energy to run. That's why Daihatsu stands by its belief that that producing lightweight and small compact cars is one of the best things to do to help the environment. Since compact cars require fewer materials to get made, they also use up less of the earth's resources.The future of resource-saving cars
Today, Daihatsu strives to perfect its production of smaller and lighter cars that will use less of the earth's resources to get built and less fuel when it already runs. The brand's Eco-friendly vehicles are going to be more compact, but will maintain the safety that normal cars feature. Daihatsu has also come up with the smart Eco-idle system, which detects a car's deceleration and automatically turns off the engine before the car stops. This reduces unnecessary gasoline consumption when the car idles, making it more fuel efficient and Eco-friendly.