Founded in 1907 and was one of the first to be established in Japan, and this year has turned a hundred years old. The first president was Iyokuma Kurokawa, and soon by the end of the year they had made their first engine, a 6 horse gas engine that was capable of running machinery in factories. By 1937 sales had increased and they found themselves as a very successful engine manufacturer, producing one of the first 500 CC engines that used petrol. In the 30’s they released several vehicles of various makes and models, including the Model HA which was a three wheeled vehicle, in addition to this they also had the FA line completed which was a four wheel car or truck that looked very similar to the Ford Model A. By 1939 their first major plant (called plant 1) started production of more and more as their success grew – however disaster loomed with the beginning of World War II.

Daihatsu Logo


After the war they were able to come back and one of their more unique models was the Bee, a three wheeled passenger car that was very economical for the country’s recovering condition. They also began production of three wheeled trucks and four wheeled mini cars that were very popular in the 50’s and 60’s – and after much delay plant 2 opened. With that they began to build more normal sized trucks, cars, vans, and sports cars that could rival others in their classes. In 1988 Daihatsu decided to come to the USA with two great cars, the Charade and the Rocky. In 1992 they shut down US operations and left. In 1999 Toyota came along and decided that it would be a great investment – they invested so much that they ended up owning the company by 51%, and recently have plans to sell it.

Daihatsu Girl


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