Daihatsu is a company known for making small, compact vehicles that are perfect in large cities. Originating in Osaka Japan, they are a well-known company across the globe. Keep reading to learn more about the company’s history, the models they are currently making, and more.

How the Company Got Started

As the oldest surviving Japanese automobile manufacturer, Daihatsu has a long and rich history. Originally, the company operated under the name of the Hatsudoki Seizo Co. Ltd. Founded in 1907 in Osaka, Japan, they were created to help develop a new type of internal combustion engine with the Osaka Higher Technical School. This type of partnership was unique in the early twentieth century, making Daihatsu equally as unique of a company from the start. By 1917, they had begun to produce engines for cargo ships and other large entities. According to their website’s history, their mission at the time was that they were planning to “contribute to industry-based national development through the domestic production of engines.”


By 1930, the company had shifted their focus to making automobiles. Prior to making these decisions, the Japanese auto market was booming. After operating under their original name for almost 50 years, Hatsudoki became Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. Shortly after this, the company began mass producing vehicles quickly. By 1964, they had produced one million vehicles. Within the scope of five years, Diahatsu had produced another million vehicles. At this point, it was clear that Daihatsu was on its way to success. In 1967, the company entered a partnership with Toyota.

In the 1980s, Daihatsu saw its highest level of success in the Asian, American, and European markets. They introduced several new models during this time as well, including the Rocky and the Charade.

However, this success did not last long. By the 2000s, the company had pulled out of the European and American markets – instead turning their focus toward the Asian market. They were acquired by Toyota in 2016.

The Logo

While the Daihatsu logo has changed since the company was incorporated in 1951, the color scheme has remained the same. The company is known for their bright red logos, making them extremely recognizable on the road. The original Daihatsu logo was a gray elongated oval with a fancy red scripted font spelling out the name of the company in the middle. It was redesigned in 1957, 1974, and 1998. In 1974, the company decided to feature a large “D” in the middle of a red circle instead of the entire company name. While the 1974 logo is still used for marketing materials today, the one redesigned in 1992 that features the full name of the company.

Daihatsu Logo History


Daihatsu was only available in the United States from 1988 to 1992, so there are limited statistics available.Sales started out strong, with the company selling almost 12,000 units in their first year. While sales picked up to over 15,000 the next year, they began to see a steady decline – only selling 19 units in their final year.

Daihatsu Sales 88 to 92

The European sales are a bit more tumultuous than those in the American market. Introduced around the same time, Daihatsu was present in European countries until 2014-2015 with the exception of a few models. The prime for these vehicles were during the mid 2000s. After this, sales significantly decreased. The company went from selling, on average, $30k-$50k per year to 532 units in 2013.

Bentley Sales

Many Different Models

Daihatsu has a wide variety of cars for sale in the Asian market. Here’s a list of the ones that are currently being made and marketed in Japan:

  • Atari Wagon – MPV
  • Boon – Hatchback
  • Cast – Hatchback
  • Copen – Roadster
  • Hijet Cargo – Van
  • Hijet Truck – Truck
  • Mira e:S – Hatchback
  • Mira Tocot – Hatchback
  • Move – Hatchback
  • Move Canbus – MPV
  • Rocky – Crossover
  • Taft – Crossover
  • Tanto – MPV
  • Thor – MPV
  • Wake – MPV
  • Daihatsu Bezza
  • Daihatsu Gran Max
  • Daihatsu Sirion
  • Daihatsu Terios

Aside from vehicles that are used by businesses, hatchbacks are some of the most popular vehicles for the company. They are great for zooming in and out of tight roads in large and small cities.

Most Popular Model

According to Be Forward, there are five Daihatsu models that have been the most popular throughout the company’s history. While not all of them are still in production, some can still be purchased on the used market. Here they are:

  1. Hijet Truck
  2. Mira ES
  3. Mira
  4. Hijet Cargo
  5. Terios Kid

Geographic Popularity

Daihatsu was present in Europe from the 1960s until 2011. Models were introduced in the United States from 1987 until 1992. While Daihatsu cars were in both of these markets, they saw extreme success during the 1980s. Currently, Daihatsu vehicles are only available in a few, select Asian countries – Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.


Daihatsu is extremely committed to sustainability. Recently, in 2017, the company took on a new slogan: “Light you up.” This was meant to embody the company’s principles of shining as a light to the automotive market and the customers. Tying into their sustainability efforts, they hope to be a leader in the global fight to create a more sustainable environment. They believe that their “fuel-efficient, high-quality, and affordable cars” are in accordance with guidelines set by the United Nations. They also focus on:

  • Good Health & Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy, including creating a low-carbon society
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life on Land
  • Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • Partnerships for Goals


Adding to their sustainability efforts, Daihatsu also makes a point to promote healthy and safe driving. They have a community project “Health and Safety Driving Courses,” which are targeted at regional areas to help people of all ages move around independently. This is a unique philosophy for an automotive company, but one that is much needed. Some of their most popular safety features that can be found on their vehicles are:

  • Adaptive Driving Beam – “detects oncoming vehicles and automatically dims part of the illuminated area.”
  • Vehicle Stability Control and “TRC” – “provide[s] steering and acceleration support.”
  • Total Advanced Function (TAF) – features “high efficiency energy-absorbing structures, a body structure that disperses impact forces, and the use of high-tensile steel places and steel plates of varying thickness.”
  • SRS Airbags – “reduce the impact of side collisions.”

Looking to sell a Daihatsu for Cash?

After learning all about how valuable Daihatsu cars are, are you looking to sell your old one? If so, let us help you. Zippy Cash for Cars can help you get the best value for your money with our services, leaving you with enough funds to purchase a newer Daihatsu with ease. For more information on how to sell your Daihatsu with us, contact us here.

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