While Toyota is today the largest carmaker in the world, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to get it right in every market they are present. But, thankfully, the Japanese automaker has a solution – its mini-car affiliate Daihatsu.
According to four Daihatsu executives and a Toyota official that have direct knowledge of the strategy, Toyota has been struggling to make its presence felt in the affordable spectrum of the Indian auto market. And in a tacit admission it failed to crack the important emerging market, it has called on its Daihatsu partner for help. The maker did just that – successfully – for the equally challenging Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest car market.
According to the sources, Toyota Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara called Daihatsu management to assist in the design and development of affordable small models that would better suit the Indian buyers. Unlike Indonesia, Daihatsu is not present on the Indian market. That could change, as the maker could lead the development of affordable cars to be sold under the Toyota brand and through the dealership network of the company in India. One reason that Toyota has failed could be the fact that the Japanese automaker didn’t use cheaper parts available from indigenous suppliers, as Suzuki did for example, instead relying on the traditional “high-quality, high-spec” components business.