Toyota closely monitors scandal-hit tiny car unit Daihatsu

Newswire Tokyo, Japan - In an effort to recover from a safety test certification crisis, the tiny car manufacturer Daihatsu Motor of Japan announced on Monday that it will simplify the manner in which it reports on development and certification to its parent company, Toyota Motor.  

More than a month has passed since a new president, originally from Toyota, assumed control of Daihatsu, with the enormous challenge of reviving the company's small-car division.  

The firm rebranded itself as a "mobility company centred on mini vehicles" and said that Daihatsu would continue to be tasked by Toyota with handling the development of their vehicles.  

The Emerging-market Compact Car Company (ECC), a link between Toyota and Daihatsu up to this point, has been dissolved as part of the revisions to the company's organizational structure.  

Another Toyota division that specializes in small automobiles will now be Daihatsu's new reporting line for development and certification. Model changeover schedules will be used to make the shift. According to Daihatsu President Masahiro Inoue, Toyota will also take charge of resource management and how it relates to product and business planning at Daihatsu.  

Daihatsu is planning to release a battery-powered "kei car"—a smaller and less powerful version of a conventional car—but they haven't set a date yet.  

As a result of production stoppages at Daihatsu—a subsidiary of Toyota that manufactures a number of vehicles—and the reputational damage caused by safety certification failures at its unit, Toyota's domestic sales fell by a third in February. Separate governance difficulties have arisen at truck maker Hino Motors and subsidiary Toyota Industries, two divisions of the world's largest automaker by volume.  

Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda issued an unusual apology in January in response to the three firms' crises. Out of 1.6 million vehicles sold by Toyota (including the luxury Lexus brand and Hino Motors), 4% were Daihatsu automobiles. This is a decrease from 7% for all of 2023.  

stay turned for development