Marcas - Daihatsu

Iniciado por kombota, 01 de Novembro de 2005, 17:03

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Although its roots can be traced back to 1907, the Daihatsu brand name was not used until 1951. After producing three-wheelers, Daihatsu built its first four wheelers in 1958. Even from the start, the company, now part of Toyota, has specialised in small-capacity passengers cars and four-wheel-drive off-roaders. In 1966 the Compagno had the distinction of being the first Japanese car to be imported, very briefly, into the UK.

The small car range was dominated by the little Domino and Charade models, mostly with three-cylinder engine, including a tiny sub-1.0-litre diesel. The ultimate three-cylinder model was the turbocharged Charade GTti, which managed 99bhp from its 993cc engine.

Japan's domestic tax laws brought about a unique generation of tiny K-class city-cars, which had to comply with strict performance and dimensions rules. Daihatsu's Cuore, with a twin-cylinder 547cc engine, first appeared in 1976. This was joined a decade later by the Leeza, with the turbo version producing 50bhp.

Daihatsu's first 4WD off-roader was the utility Taft, available with engines from 1.0 petrol to 2.5-litre diesel. The Fourtrak, launched in 1985, is more a working than lifestyle off-roader. The Sportrak, which was introduced in 1990, is aimed at the leisure market, although it has been left behind by newer vehicles such as Honda's CR-V or the Toyota RAV4.

A slight relaxation in the K-class rules has allowed these cars to be a little larger. The little five-door Move, designed in conjunction with IDEA in Italy, uses a 12-valve three-cylinder 847cc engine, with a three-speed automatic an option over the five-speed manual 'box. UK promotion of the Move reflecting its bizarre appearance (ads used the word 'weird') - despite its short length, it has a roof line tall enough to allow the driver to wear a top hat. More conventional is the Grand Move, basically a small MPV with a 1.5-litre engine.

Overall Daihatsu's UK range tends to be characterised by dynamically unremarkable but unusually packaged smaller vehicles. One possible exception could be the stylish Copen roadster. Although the car does not currently conform to European standards, Daihatsu is said to be looking into the feasibility and cost of coverting the model for export.

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In March 1907, professors Yoshinki and Turumi from Osaka University established Hatsudoki Seizo Co. Ltd, an internal combustion engine manufacturing company that began its operational life building industrial engines for the Japanese domestic market.

Initially the engines were fuelled by natural gas and used in a variety of marine, mining and power generating industries. With the emergence of the automobile, Hatsudoki saw an opportunity to extend its operations through the production of motor vehicles and by 1919 had completed production of two prototype trucks. It was these two prototypes and the outstanding performance of each truck during testing, which led Hatsudoki to concentrate its future efforts on motor vehicles.

By 1930 Hatsudoki had launched its first production vehicle, the 500cc Model HA, Japan's first domestically produced automobile. The HA was more a motorcycle than a motorcar by today's standards, in that it was a three-wheeler driven by a 500cc engine.

Over the next eight years four more models were released, including Japan's first compact four-wheel car. It was this 600kg, air-cooled, 730cc, twin cylinder prototype, that would shape the company's future and mark the beginning of the mini cars.

Demand for the new Hatsudoki products was increasing at a rapid rate enabling the company to expand its operations through the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Ikeda in 1938. In that year Hatsudoki produced another prototype car, an open top 4WD sports car, which was powered by a 1.2 litre engine and a three-speed transmission that allowed it to reach speeds of up to 70 kph.

In 1951 the expanding Hatsudoki company underwent a transformation and Daihatsu Kogyo Co. Ltd (which means Osaka Generator Manufacturer) was born. The company became synonymous with small car excellence and continued to trade under this name until 1974 when it became Daihatsu Motor Company Ltd.

Sales of Daihatsu's three wheel automobiles were exceptional by 1957 and the company embarked on an export program to expand sales.

By 1970 Daihatsu became the first Japanese car manufacturer to export vehicles to the United Kingdom, and within the next ten years the company was exporting to countries all around the world including Italy and China.

The mini car concept was received exceptionally well by the Europeans and sales of cars such as the Charade soared. In 1985, Italy's Alfa Romeo recognised the potential of the Charade and began producing them for the Italian market in its South African factory.

Today, almost one hundred years later, Daihatsu is recognised as Japan's oldest vehicle manufacturer, a small car specialist - and Japan's big small car manufacturer. It continues to produce automobiles for over one hundred countries around the world.

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Edited by:>kombota at: 1/11/05 11:41


A Daihatsu está a comemorar o Centésimo aniversário e como sempre no site Português népias, deixo o link para o site da Daihatsu onde se pode ver a evolução da marca ao longo destes 100 Anos 1907/2007">

Tem pormenores muito interessantes como a vitória na classe de um G10 no rally safari ALT=":[drive]">  

Edited by:>fellowmax" BORDER=0> at: 28/5/07 17:44
Sérgio Gomes
Sócio AJA Nº 12

Daihatsu Charade G10 XTE Runabout 1981


Rui Coelho
Associado AJA Nº1