Toyota said that is planning to enter the growing Japanese minivehicle sector next year, in order to intensify the competition in its domestic market.
Apparently, Toyota will enter the market through a supply deal with unit Daihatsu Motor Co. Under the deal, Daihatsu will supply three minivehicle models to its parent in stages starting in the fall of 2011.
Toyota expects to sell around 60,000 units a year, once the three models will be introduced.
According to sources, the minivehicles have engine displacements of up to 0.660 liter and are unique to Japan. Toyota is currently the only manufacturer in Japan that does not have a minivehicle brand.
"The weight of minivehicles in the market has increased, and there were a growing number of our own customers who were shifting to that segment," Toyota Executive Vice President Yoichiro Ichimaru told a joint news conference.
"Our focus will remain on the non-mini segment, but this way we will be able to meet the needs of such customers," he added.
For those who don’t know, Toyota owns 51 percent in Daihatsu, and it appears that this deal will boost Daihatsu’s production volume. Daihatsu shares were also boosted by 3.2 percent on news of the briefing. [via autonews - sub. required]