Daihatsu in Australia

The 1960's were a time when the Japanese automobile industry had rapidly progressed and Daihatsu, having established itself as a maker of innovative compact cars in Japan, looked to Australia as a new market for its vehicles.

When Daihatsu sold its first passenger vehicle in Australia, it was the 4 cylinder, 800cc model F30, known as the 'Berlina Compango' that first sparked interest in Daihatsu cars. The Compagno range comprised of four models - a four door version, a station wagon, a utility and a sports model.

But before Daihatsu began selling cars in Australia, it was Daihatsu's legendary Delta trucks that reached Australian shores first. The Delta series SV10 and SV15 trucks, known for their rugged design, reliability and their reputation for being hardworking, were introduced to Australia in January 1965.

They were followed by the DV26M model Delta, a small, mobile, yet sturdy 2.5 litre diesel concrete mixer which revolutionised the concept of small trucks in this country.

Although Daihatsu had been producing 4WDs for some time in Japan, it wasn't until 1975 that the first 4WD, the F10L was sold outside Japan - and Australia received the first shipment. Within four months of its introduction, Australian sales of the F10L exceeded all expectations.

Up until this point, Daihatsu had been distributed in Australia through independent distributors. But the introduction of the Daihatsu passenger and 4WD range of vehicles created difficulties for the independent distributors who had trouble coping with the increase in demand.

On 1 January 1975 Daihatsu replaced the independent distributor in New South Wales with a national company, Daihatsu Distributors Australia (later renamed Daihatsu Australia Pty Ltd). The new structure enabled Daihatsu to expand its operations and offer better support to its existing customer base in Australia. With the National office based in the Sydney suburb of Mascot the independent state distributors were systematically replaced with Daihatsu's own state offices between 1983 and 1989.

The establishment of Daihatsu Australia marked one of Daihatsu's first international operations. It was followed by the opening of Daihatsu operations in Holland (1983), Austria (1985), Hong Kong (1986) and China (1986).

In 1967, Daihatsu Japan had entered a business partnership with Toyota Motor Co Ltd and Toyota Motor Sales Co. In July 2000 Toyota Australia announced the integration of Daihatsu Australia's operations with Toyota Motor Corporation Australia.