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Daihatsu to quit Europe

2011-01-17 09:10

TIME TO GO?: Daihatsu President Koichi Ina unveiling its new Move minicar last month. Under Toyota’s controlling influence the Japanese Kei-car specialist is preparing to retreat from Europe.

Small-car specialist Daihatsu has announced its intention to quit the European market.

Although Europe’s regulatory framework and congested cities incentivise small-car ownership, Daihatsu has not managed to capture the required number of sales to sustain its business.

Daihatsu sold only 19 300 cars across 10 European markets in 2010 compared to 58 600 units in 2007. Yen strength has worsened the situation, further reducing profitability.

Despite having product that caters perfectly for the demands of a market in recession (and buying down), Daihatsu now becomes the first Japanese casualty in the Euro zone.

Industry insiders cite Daihatsu’s lack of sophisticated low emission engines (enabling their cars to sell in cheaper CO2 taxation brackets) as one of the reasons customers have preferred more expensive, contemporary, Europe-built superminis.

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