Friday, October 4, 2013
Daihatsu Looking For Overseas Toyota Tie-Up: President
OSAKA (Nikkei)--Daihatsu Motor Co. (7262) is seeking opportunities to work with Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) abroad, particularly in emerging markets, President Masanori Mitsui told The Nikkei on Thursday.
Excerpts from the interview follow.
Q: The domestic fight for minivehicle market share is getting heated.
A: Since the end of last year, we've released revamped versions of our three mainstay models: first the Move and the Mira e:S, and now the new Tanto on Oct. 3. The Tanto is an overall improvement, a car we're proud of, and we think customers will see that. We want to be committed to staying on top going forward.
- Masanori Mitsui
Q: You rolled out the Tanto two months earlier than planned.
A: It's not necessary to hold fast to a release date. If we can introduce it in a timely manner when our customers want it, then it's better to put it out early. Our current development time is a little over two years, but we're looking to halve that.
Q: You'll have to find another focus overseas beyond Indonesia and Malaysia.
A: We built up know-how about small cars in Indonesia, so there are a number of markets in which we can put it to use. Some of the candidates are other countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Q: What sort of partnership will you have with Toyota abroad?
A: We haven't decided in what specific regions we'll be working together, but we're working to reconcile both companies' interests. We're on the threshold of a promising arrangement. We want to put our small-car know-how to good use within the Toyota group.
The chance that we may do development and production with them overseas is not zero. Toyota is competing across the world, and if they need our capabilities, we would gladly try our hardest as part of the group.
(The Nikkei Business Daily , Oct. 4 edition)