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No more new Daihatsu’s to be sold in SA

AMH has after-sales contract for 8 years.

Imperial Daihatsu MD Pedro Pereira confirmed on Wednesday that the import of new Daihatsu vehicles to South Africa will be stopped by the end of March.

Daihatsu does not manufacture locally, but imports all its new vehicles.

Pereira said Associated Motor Holdings (AMH), part of the listed Imperial group, has an eight-year contract to provide after-sales service to Daihatsu owners after the sale of new cars stop. That includes services, parts and warranties.

He said the 40 dealerships that sold Daihatsu vehicles are all part of the AMH multi-franchise network. Since they sell other brands of vehicles as well, they will continue to exist and provide the after-sale service to Daihatsu owners at the same premises they used to.

Nobody in the network is losing their jobs, “our technical managers are staying, the head offices stays where it was and everything carries on as normal”, he says.

The Daihatsu company is part of Toyota (internationally) and after the financial crisis in 2008 Toyota cut the Daihatsu budgets for research and development, Pereira said. The result was that Daihatsu last released a new product, the Terios, in 2004 and subsequently they were not competitive in the market anymore.

Peraira said Daihatsu is really strong in the market for very small cars in Asia. Such cars are not suitable in South African conditions.

The company in fact took a decision some time ago to focus on the Asian market and to withdraw from all Western markets and has already done so in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. “We were the last to continue selling new cars, because we were selling so many,” he said.

Pereira would not disclose how many new Daihatsu vehicles were sold in South Africa last year, but said the brand was “small in terms of the big players”.

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