07 September 2019

Daihatsu USA Sales : 1988-92

The Charade didn't work for the US public

Japanese brands could do little wrong in the US. They soon found buyers and loyal customers. Suzuki entered in 1985 and was soon selling well. Toyota must have decided that its small brand could do the same, so it entered the US in 1988. The Charade mini car led the way, followed by the tiny Rocky SUV.

A bad report on the Suzuki Samurai's crash worthiness in 1988 was the worst timing for Daihatsu's arrival. Sales didn't take off, especially for the Rocky. After a few short years, Toyota saw the writing on the wall and the brand was discontinued in the US market.

Model 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988
Charade 5,030 6,202 10,630 15,118 11,460
Rocky 2,316 2,761 4,354 295
Total US Sales 7,346 8,963 14,984 15,413 11,460

Daihatsu cars are simple but very reliable. I own one and the longer I have it, the less I want to sell it. Unfortunately small isn't big in the USA and making money in that area of the market is challenging. Toyota saw that quickly and were not slow in acting. It was just as well they did.

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