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Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. (ダイハツ工業株式会社, Daihatsu Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha ?, TYO: 7262, OSE: 7262) is a Japanese manufacturer of cars, well known for its smaller models and off-road vehicles. Many of its models are also known as kei jidosha (or kei cars) in Japan.
The name "Daihatsu" is a combination of the first kanji for Osaka (大) and the first of the word "engine manufacture" (発動機製造, hatsudōki seizō ?); when put together they are pronounced "dai hatsu."
Daihatsu was formed in 1951 as successor organisation to Hatsudoki, and by the 1960s had started exporting cars to Europe, although it did not enjoy any major sales success until well into the 1980s.
Since February 1992 in North America, it has been common for Toyota to distribute Daihatsu models.
It was reported on 31 March 2005 that Toyota would withdraw Daihatsu from the Australian market after sales fell heavily in 2005, in spite of the overall new-car market in Australia growing 7%. Daihatsu wound up its Australian operations in March 2006 after almost 40 years in the market.
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