Report – Daihatsu to help Toyota develop India-spec affordable cars

Posted on: Nov 7, 2014 - 3:06pm IST

Daihatsu could develop low-cost models with India as the prime target market.

Reuters reports that Toyota’s Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara has asked Daihatsu’s management earlier this year to help develop affordable small cars suitable for the Indian market.

2015 Toyota Etios facelift front quarters
The Etios twins have fallen short of the company’s sales expectation.

While the Japanese stalwart dominates the family MPV and 7-seat SUV segments in India with the Innova and Fortuner respectively, performance in segments below is not up to the mark. The sales of the Etios twins, which received minor updates recently, have been dwindling over the years.

Toyota has a controlling stake in Daihatsu (51%) and has been having a successful partnership in Indonesia where both Daihatsu and Toyota branded products top sales chart. Toyota models like the Avanza and Agya derive their route from Daihatsu products.

As far as India is concerned, products with Daihatsu involvement would still be marketed under Toyota’s banner since Daihatsu is an unknown entity here. According to the news agency’s source within Daihatsu, the company has already started looking extensively into why the Etios twins failed to take off in India so that it would be prepared in case Toyota comes asking for assistance in product development.

Toyota Agya front
A Daihatsu developed Toyota product could be a good value-for-money proposition like the Agya pictured here.

Talking to Reuters, a Tokyo-based Toyota spokesman stated that the company is looking at various options including collaboration with Daihatsu but no decision has been made as of now.

Daihatsu’s expertise in frugal engineering would enable Toyota to come up with products that offer better value compared to its existing B segment Indian products.

Also read: Slow selling Toyota Etios twins to be replaced by new products in Brazil

Meanwhile, Toyota Kirloskar Motor is working on augmenting its premium portfolio. The next gen Innova is in the works and a new entry-level Fortuner with a 2.5-litre diesel engine is also in the offing.

Toyota Etios facelift – Image Gallery (Unrelated)

[Source: Reuters]

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6 thoughts on “Report – Daihatsu to help Toyota develop India-spec affordable cars

  1. dinesh shekhar says:

    The news touches us with with some distress only, if it is anywhere near to be true!! Because, for Toyota since their entry into India way back tin 1997, we Indians have wholeheartedly accepted their products whether it is the Qualis (Kijang), Innova or the Corolla. But it was only when they dumped India specific products like Etios or Liva, to our markets, we started looking into their seriousness for India. Toyota folks at the helm should understand India is not a market, which used to be in the past.With the majority younger generation, the masses would look for quality and well-designed products. See the tremendous success of Innova, being it a people carrier, with its non-nonsense looks and practicality or the Fortuner, which, incidentally carries the best resale value in our markets with the Toyota reliability, though it is based on the Hilux platform.
    Toyota, you can have a different when it is about India, but not ugly toys like Etios or Liva. You cant find huge volumes in Prado or Land Cruiser sales, but try to make them India and price them competitevely. You will see positive surprises only.
    About Daihatsu – it can be good for the South East Asian markets, but not for us at least. We would be eager to welcome the Yaris, a futuristic designed, sub Corolla car to compete with the City, a 2.5 litre Fortuner, etc. are the immediate products, you should concentrate on. We have already got the inferior version of their Terrios. We are not curious to see the Curoes, Charades or the Miraes. At least, learn from From for their courages effort “Ecosport” – designwise, at least, or Honda for their City.
    Toyota, we are the largest democracy, the second most populous country – give us good products, success will be yours. We are helpless, but to give a big “no” to products like Etios or Liva – we are the new India !!

  2. hi2aravind says:

    There is no secret on why Etios twins failed in India. People wants VFM products here not cheaply looking ones. There is no doubt that Etios is good mechanically. But its built on very old platform and its exterior and interior looks too outdated. Even Tata cars are becoming better in this aspect now a days.

    People simply do not want to buy outdated cars. Remember if a person can afford 5+ lakhs he/she is not a poor or even middle class here. They cant offer very cheap looking cars.

    Feel good factor is important here like reliability. Just if they can bring cars looks like i20/Swift would sell lot. Even the current Etios would sell more if the dash is changed to look more upmarket.

    Even I am tempted to buy Etios for its practicality, reliability, performance and less ownership costs. But the design and ugly looking dash is preventing it.

  3. jazz350 says:

    Daihatsu makes the ugliest cars in Japan. Their 660ccc Kei cars are just scary tin pots on the roads. It would be an expensive mistake to bring any of their models under the Toyota banner. Top Toyota executives are pretty dumb as they are yet to figure out a small car for the Indian market. To reach out to Daihatsu would be a big mistake.

    1. Dr. Nayak says:

      All Toyota can do is try to copy some one. What will they do if they have nothing to copy? That is the reason they will call on Daihatsu another bottom of the barrel car company that has similar mentality!

  4. Dr. Nayak says:

    All we need is another third world brand discontinued in USA (late eighty) due to poor quality and lack of interest. They may soon change their mind with the new safety norms and testing requirements.

  5. Arun says:

    hope we can expect low cost toyotas soon in india.


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About the Author
Nithyanandh K

As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!