Toyota’s scandal-hit Daihatsu aims to resume vehicle development this year

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 12:24 AM

By Maki Shiraki

TOKYO (Reuters) – Scandal-hit Toyota Motor subsidiary Daihatsu aims to fully resume developing vehicles by as early as the end of this year, the president of the compact carmaker told reporters, adding that he saw opportunities in South America and Africa.


Daihatsu last year said it had rigged safety tests for some 88,000 small cars, most of them sold under the Toyota brand, with the scandal posing a reputational risk for Japan’s largest automaker.

New President Masahiro Inoue was dispatched from Toyota to turn Daihatsu around and put it on a path to growth. Resuming development of new cars will be a significant milestone.


“Once we have bedded down measures to prevent a recurrence (of the certification issue), we would like to move forward as early as the end of the year,” Inoue said about full development, adding that minor changes to models could occur even earlier.

“Emerging markets are a perfect fit for us, like throwing a fast ball straight down the middle of the strike zone,” he told reporters during an April 22 roundtable. His comments were embargoed for Wednesday.

“South America and Africa” are the markets that should be a focus for development over the next ten years, he said.


*All but one of Daihatsu’s models have been confirmed to be in compliance with domestic standards and those shipments have resumed.

*Inoue was previously Toyota’s head of Latin America.

(Reporting by Maki Shiraki; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)