Published on January 6th, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen3
Toyota Branches Out to Microvans and Minicars With the Mira E-S
Daihatsu, maker of the Pico and several other tiny and adorable prototypes, is branching out from its (fairly solid) base of the small and cute. The Toyota subsidiary will start selling and marketing a few of its parent company’s larger cars, and Toyota is returning the favor.
Daihatsu is best known for its kei cars, also called yellow-plate cars. They’re the little four-seaters that feature smaller engines and smaller overall sizes in order to escape high tax and insurance payments (which makes them pretty popular, as you can probably imagine). One of their very successful lines has been the Mira, in production in one form or another since 1980.
The Mira – Tiny, Clean, and Green
The Mira has been fairly green for most of its history (the one I owned got about 45mpg, although it needed a stiff tailwind or a downward incline to move faster than 60mph), but the newest addition to the line-up is greener than any of its predecessors. The Mira E-S (Eco-Smart) gets 70mpg and its CO2 emissions are only 77g/km (for a bit of perspective there, current EU regulations are 130g/km or less for all new vehicles this year). It also has an idle-stop system to help improve fuel efficiency.
Why Toyota has chosen now to start selling its subsidiary’s cars under its own name is a bit of a mystery to me. Nonetheless, Toyota will be selling the Mira E-S along with Daihatsu’s MoveConte (a 5-door microvan) and HIJET (available as both a tiny pick-up and as a microvan) as part of its Pixis series. They’re aiming to sell 60,000 kei cars per year.
Daihatsu, on the other hand, will be opening up dealerships to sell the Toyota Camry hybrid, and possibly some of its larger vehicles.
Source | Image: Daihatsu.
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