Toyota has confirmed it will buy the remaining 49 percent it doesn't own of fellow Japanese brand Daihatsu in a deal worth approximately $3.2 billion. The deal will entail a share exchange and should be completed by August. It was only on Wednesday that Toyota, which has owned 51 percent of Daihatsu since 1988, announced it was considering such a move.
Daihatsu is a leader when it comes to small cars, especially in its home market as well as parts of Southeast Asia. The purpose of this deal is to enable the two automakers to form a unified strategy for the small car segment, under which both companies will be able to focus more on their core competencies in order to achieve sustainable, long-term growth.
“This is an opportunity for us both to stop feeling that we need to go it alone, and trust each other to take full advantage of our respective strengths,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in a statement. “In other words, we can now focus on our core competencies.”
While there will be a combining of some operations and technology, both automakers are to maintain their own management styles. The move is mainly about sharing resource-intensive undertakings such as the development of next-generation vehicle platforms, powertrains and other technology as well as expansion into other business areas.
Toyota sees closer cooperation with other automakers as necessary in order to meet tougher environmental standards as well as a cooling global economy. Toyota this week reported it had sold 10.15 million vehicles in 2015, more than any other automaker. However, this was down 0.8 of a percent on the previous year and is expected to remain unchanged in 2016. Toyota already factors Daihatsu’s sales in its figures so the latest deal won't affect the numbers. Last year, Daihatsu’s sales totaled 794,000 vehicles.
Toyota said last year it would deepen its ties with Mazda, and there have been reports that Toyota is also looking at some form of deal with Suzuki. However, the latter has been denied by officials.
Pictured above is Daihatsu’s latest Copen, a convertible sports car that conforms to Japan’s “kei” regulations.