As you all know, we at Daihatsu have focused on a business model specializing around compact cars—primarily in what is known here as the mini-vehicle segment.
In recent years, we have developed models such as the Mira e:S, which combines an affordable pricetag and excellent fuel economy, the Tanto and Hijet, which were created through concerted efforts to offer the features and performance sought by our customers, and the Ayla for Indonesia and Axia for Malaysia, which, like our Japan-market models, represent our dedication to meeting the needs and preferences of local customers.
Through the development of these vehicles, we have aimed to become the manufacturer closest to the consumer.
At the same time, I believe that we have succeeded with all of our efforts to hone and improve the unique manufacturing processes that compact cars require.
From Daihatsu Motor Kyushu's Oita 2nd Plant, which was the first to adopt the concept of "Simple, Slim, Compact," to our plants in Indonesia and Malaysia that have become highly competitive thanks to the steps we have taken to be the very best in those countries, we have achieved a great deal.
We also have a long history of joing projects with Toyota, including production under contract since the 1960s, joint development since 2004, and provision of vehicles on an OEM basis. We have always used these projects as the most appropriate means of addressing our respective needs at the time.
Recently, we have been working to develop the ability to operate on a truly global scale, and to meet the ever-growing challenges and societal needs presented by the next wave of technologies. These include compliance with environmental and safety regulations, electrification of powertrains, automated driving, and connected technologies.
Performing in these areas will be the key to our continued growth, and we are aware that we will soon find ourselves in a position where the necessary resources will exceed those allowed by the scope of our business.
This led us to arrive at one conclusion: if we want overcome the upheaval in our business environment and the fierce competition to develop new technologies—and emerge stronger than ever before—we must dramatically strengthen our collaboration with Toyota, working our way forward by making ever-better compact cars under a joint strategy.
These are the three concrete fields for our future strategic collaboration: compact cars, technology, and operations.
In terms of compact cars, part of our domestic and international strategy has been to develop and market similar "sibling" models like the Daihatsu Boon and Toyota Passo, or the Daihatsu Xenia and Toyota Avanza. Going forward, we will focus on differentiating those designs and specifications somewhat, in order to better fulfill the needs of our respective customers.
In order to do this, we will work on further honing our development of vehicles that meet the specific needs of customers in their local markets. Put simply, we will both build ever-better cars that fully leverage the unique strengths of our own brands.
The second area covered by our collaboration is technology. The aim is to begin working together on new technologies in the initial conceptual stages, combining Toyota's world-leading research into cutting-edge technologies with Daihatsu's expertise in miniaturization and lowering costs.
I hope that this shared strategy will create a synergistic effect that benefits both Toyota and Daihatsu customers, whereby we can bring cutting-edge technologies to market in compact cars and mini-vehicles earlier and more affordably.
The third area of collaborations will be in operations. In emerging markets, Daihatsu will show leadership and offer its own expertise to assist in the growth and development of operations.
To ensure that we have the necessary adaptability and efficiency, we will use each other's manufacturing bases and work to improve the speed and effectiveness of the development, procurement, and production processes that underlie our operations, from the planning stages onwards.
These new collaborations will enable us to provide even better products and services than before, while also offering them earlier and at a better price than our competitors.
We will also be able to demonstrate our strengths in manufacturing and craftsmanship in light of the global shift toward more compact cars, particularly in emerging markets.
Over the last ten years, we have overhauled many of the core aspects of our business, both in terms of streamlining our corporate structure and in terms of improving our products, R&D, and manufacturing. With all of that behind us, we see this as the perfect opportunity to cement our relationship with Toyota, and, by doing so, to embark on a new period of growth and elevate the Daihatsu brand to a global standard.
（Excerpts from the speech at the joint press conference of Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation of January 29, 2016）
Masanori Mitsui, President