Toyota buying Daihatsu in stock swap
TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp. will buy out its Daihatsu Motor Co. unit through a stock swap, making a key unit for small cars sold in Southeast Asia and Japan a wholly-owned subsidiary. The world's largest automaker will offer 0.26 shares for each share of Daihatsu in an exchange of shares scheduled to take effect Aug. 1, according to a statement. Daihatsu will stop trading on July 26 and de-list the following day.
Toyota is forging closer ties with its Japanese peers as automakers face rising costs of meeting tougher environmental standards and the challenge of navigating slower global sales growth. The carmaker said last year it would deepen collaboration with Mazda Motor Corp., and it's reportedly considering an alliance with Suzuki Motor Corp.
Although Toyota was the only automaker to sell more than 10 million vehicles worldwide last year, its deliveries slipped 0.8 percent to 10.15 million. Sales for German rival Volkswagen AG fell 2 percent and General Motors Co. eked out a 0.2 percent increase, underscoring the slower pace of growth for the global industry that's expanded every year since 2009.
Daihatsu struggled last year, with sales slumping 13 percent to 794,000 vehicles. The leader in Japan's minicar segment saw domestic deliveries decline 14 percent, after a price war with Suzuki for sales leadership during the last fiscal year pulled ahead demand.
The small-car maker also has been slumping in Indonesia, with deliveries dropping 10 percent through the first half of its fiscal year. Daihatsu builds vehicles for Toyota in Indonesia, where its share of industrywide production was about 39 percent in the last fiscal year.
Toyota may not be done in spurring more consolidation within Japan's auto industry. The carmaker is studying a potential partnership with Suzuki, the Nikkei newspaper reported Thursday, a day after the two companies denied being in talks.
Toyota also owns a majority of truck maker Hino Motors Ltd. and has minority stakes in Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and truck maker Isuzu Motors Ltd.
Daihatsu traces its beginnings to March 1907, when two academics and a group of businessmen set up a company in Osaka, Japan's second-largest city, to produce internal combustion engines. Toyota first tied up with Daihatsu in 1967, has owned its majority stake since 1998 and has been supplied Toyotabranded minicars since 2011.