Daihatsu to leave South Africa


Japanese small car specialists, Daihatsu, have announced that it will be pulling the plug on its South African operations.

According to Engineering News, the brand’s official importer, Imperial Daihatsu, cities its General Manager Pedro Pereira, as saying that the manufacturer, which currently sells the entry level Sirion hatchback, Terios mini SUV and Gran Max light bakkie, would seize sales at the end of March following a decision to concentrate on its home and other Asian market.

A division of Toyota, Daihatsu has not launched a new model in South Africa since the Gran Max debuted in 2009 with production of the Charade and Materia ending after 2011, and a replacement for Sirion, on the market since 2005, being constantly delayed.

Daihatsu’s latest decision comes afterit discontinued its European operations in 2013 with Australia and New Zealand following soon after. The brand blamed its withdrawal from Europe on the cost of escalating and stringent regulations as well as the Yen’s position against the Euro.

Pereira however said that Imperial would continue to honour warranties and after-sales service to existing clients at all its 50 dealers, following the signing of a contract with Daihatsu Japan.