Recently crowned best-selling car manufacturer for the fourth time in a row, Toyota has admitted it’s thinking about a potential Daihatsu buyout.
Toyota currently has a majority stake of 51.2% in Daihatsu and is interested in buying the rest of shares which would cost around $3.2 billion at current market prices. A report published by Nikkei business daily said Toyota is discussing with Suzuki to team up for the transaction, but the world’s biggest car manufacturer has officially denied the rumor.
If the buyout will be completed, Toyota will have full control of Daihatsu and could rejuvenate the brand which right now is the underperformer in the Toyota empire. Daihatsu’s sales last year dropped by a rather significant 13.3% and obviously had an impact on Toyota’s overall sales that decreased by 0.8% to 10.15 million units. Even so, Toyota claimed the title for the best-selling manufacturer in the world for the fourth consecutive year.
The relationship between Toyota and Daihatsu goes all the way back to 1967, but it was only in 1998 when Toyota purchased a majority stake in the company. It remains to be seen whether the deal will take place and if it will happen, perhaps Toyota will try to replicate Renault’s success with the low-cost Dacia sub-brand.