Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. (?????????? Daihatsu Kogyo Kabushiki-gaisha ?, TYO: 7262, OSE: 7262) is the oldest Japanese manufacturer of cars, known mostly for its smaller models and off-road vehicles. Many of its models are also known as kei jidosha (or kei cars) in Japan. Its headquarters are located in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture.
The name "Daihatsu" is a combination of the first kanji for Osaka (?) and the first of the word "engine manufacture" (????? hatsudoki seizo ?) ; 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.
In January 2011, Daihatsu announced it would pull out of Europe by 2013, citing the persistently strong yen which makes it difficult to turn a profit from its export business. Daihatsu's sales in Europe had plummeted from 58,000 in 2007 before the financial crisis, to 19,000 in 2010.