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.
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.