Daihatsu – the place to buy a cheap Toyota – announce that they are stopping imports to the UK and Europe due to the strength of the Yen.
If you want a Toyota, you buy a Toyota. If you want a posh Toyota you buy a Lexus. And if you want a cheap Toyota you buy a Daihatsu. But not for long, as Daihatsu announce plans to leave the UK and Europe to the Koreans. Although if you look at the figures recently for sale it rather looks like Europe – and certainly the UK – has lost interest in Daihatsu.
In 2010 Daihatsu managed to shift just 170 cars compared to 2,306 in 2009. Neither figure is exactly going to set the world on fire – although the 2010 figure looks like it was down to Daihatsu running stocks down in the UK – and couldn’t possibly sustain a dealer network of some 90 dealers.
Daihatsu blame the strength of the Yen for the demise of the brand in Europe, but if Toyota were that keen to keep selling on price perhaps they would have moved production to a more favourable location. We think part of the equation is that Toyota can no longer see the point trying to sell bargain basement cars when the Koreans offer such good value – and a vastly better range than Daihatsu can.
Although the Copen is quite cool, in an odd sort of way.