Daihatsu Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. is commonly known as Daihatsu, is a Japanese automobile manufacturer and one of the oldest surviving Japanese internal combustion engine manufacturers well known for building three wheeled vehicles. It is well known for its range of smaller kei models, passenger and off-road vehicles. The headquarters are located in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture. The company has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corporation since August 2016.
Daihatsu was formed in March 1951 as a successor to Hatsudoki Seizo Co. Ltd, founded in 1907, as part of Hatsudoki's major restructure. Hatsudoki's formation was largely influenced by the Engineering Department's faculty of Osaka University, to develop a gasoline-powered engine for small, stationary power plants. From the beginning of the company until 1930, when a prototype three-wheeler truck was considered and proposed, Hatsudoki's focus was largely steam engines for Japanese National Railways and included rail carriages for passenger transportation. The company then focused on railroad diesel engines, working with Niigata Engineering, and Shinko Engineering Co., Ltd. Before the company began to manufacture automobiles, their primary Japanese competitor was Yanmar for diesel engines that weren't installed in a commercial truck to provide motivation.