Toyota takes tighter control of Daihatsu

In May 2023, Toyota, Daihatsu, and Suzuki announced plans to develop a series of mini commercial battery electric vehicles (BEVs), drawing on Toyota’s electrification skills and the other two companies’ expertise in small, or kei, vehicles. Daihatsu was nominated as the manufacturer for all three brands. But in late 2023 Daihatsu was embroiled in a scandal for having faked crash testing data over three decades. As a result, the joint development programme ground to a halt. Subsequently, Toyota installed some of its own management into Daihatsu, with many of the Daihatsu senior executives leaving the company. Many of the departing managers and some who remained in post had to return some of their previously awarded performance related bonuses.

In April 2024, nearly a year after the three-way programme was announced, it was reactivated with Toyota managers now directing Daihatsu, which will officially lead the programme but clearly now under much greater control from Toyota itself.

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