You might recognize the car in this photo as a Camry but you’ll be wrong in a way. Let us clarify this. The plate does say “Altis” but the badge isn’t one of Toyota’s. Well, it’s basically the 2018 Toyota Camry that has been rebadged as the new Daihatsu Altis.
Daihatsu has been selling Camrys with the brand’s badge on it in Japan since the early 2000s. Today, the company is wholly owned by Toyota. Currently, only one model is carried in the lineup. And that’s the 2.5-liter hybrid with two-wheel drive in G spec, as seen in the photo.
In January 2016, it was confirmed that Daihatsu has become a fully-owned subsidiary of Toyota. Both parties have a share exchange that was completed in August 2016, and this is meant to add more value to both brands. The two companies have an agreement to develop better cars for the small car segment with next-generation technologies. Sounds like a win-win situation for all parties, including the Japanese customers.
Since the Daihatsu Altis is simply the Toyota Camry in disguise, both cars are naturally priced the same - both having a price tag of 3,499,200 yen (around $30,000). However, like I said earlier, Daihatsu only offers the Altis in the hybrid powertrain. This means that if customers want a different version, they will have to head over to a Toyota dealership, as they could get the Camry X for only 3,294,000 yen ($29,000), or a more premium trim with leather package, the Camry G, which costs 4,195,800 ($37,000).
To be honest, we find the selling point of Daihatsu to be quite weak. Why would someone go for the exact same car, with just a different name and badge? Also the fact that they only have one car, with one variant to offer, is a bit odd. People want to select the best options for themselves. But then again, this is actually not that unusual. Other companies have done the same. Besides, I’m guessing there must be something more to this agreement that I am not seeing.
Furthermore, the Japanese company expects to deliver 2,400 units of the Daihatsu Altis around Japan every month considering that the Camry is almost in every dealership like Toyopet, Corolla, and Netz. They did not mention who their target market is, but comparing that number to the 30,000 units that Toyota sells in the US every month, it’s almost like nothing, especially for a brand like Toyota.