Japanese auto manufacturer Daihatsu has undergone some intense changes lately. Known as the oldest car manufacturer in Japan, Daihatsu is famous for its off-road and small vehicles. Its vehicles are also named kei jidosha (or kei cars) in its home country, where its headquarters are located in the city of Ikeda, in Osaka, Japan. The company's name comes from a combination of Japanese words that equate to "engine manufacture." Daihatsu is a relatively new company, as it was started in 1951 in response to the failing of the Hatsudoki company. By the 60s, Daihatsu was exporting automobiles to Europe. The company wasn't very successful until the latter part of the 80s, however. Daihatsu is a member of the Toyota Group, and one of its Daihatsu's major contributions to the auto industry is its EV development program, which dates all the way back to 1970 with its premiere of the "pavilion cars" in the Osaka World Expo of 1970.
Over the years, Daihatsu has faced stiff competition from brands such as Subaru, Fiat (which includes Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati brands along with the Fiat brand), and Isuzu, but it has responded accordingly with such popular models as the Daihatsu Mira (also known as the Charade, Cuore, and Daomina). The vehicle is a kei car and comes with several different chassis options. The latest group is made of "Mira" models, which follow the line of Daihatsu Fellow vehicles, which premiered in 1966 as a more commercial variation of Daihatsu's Cuore. In Australia, the two-seater Mira is known as the Hadivan, or Handi. The Mira/Cuore has been produced since 1980, when it replaced the Max Cuore. It lasted several generations and went through several series, including: the L55 Series in the 1980s and in the early 90s as the L200 variant, the L70 Series in the mid- 1980s and 90s as the Mira P1 variant in Thailand, and the L200 Series (the most popular variant) from 1990-1998, though the platform has been gone through many name changes. The V and S Series during this time were very popular. Later came the L500 Series, in 1994, and at the same time, came the "mira Moderno" range of vehicles in the Japanese market. The fifth series, the L700, began in 1998, and was picked up in Malaysia in 2001, but this ended in 2007. Finally, the sixth and seventh generations, the L250 Series and the L275 Series, were produced in the mid 2,000 years. The L250 production ended in mid-2009.
Unfortunately, in January of 2011, Daihatsu made the announcement loyal fans everywhere had been dreaded: the company is slated to stop selling vehicles in Europe by the year 2013 due to the strong Japanese yen making it difficult to profit from business outside of its home country. The company's sales took a huge downturn between 2007-2010, as well. Daihatsu will now concentrate on investing money in Indonesia on a factory that will produce low-cost, small cars. By the end of 2012, this factory should being functioning and is set to produce about 100k cars each year.