Car supermarket Motorpoint has what it believes to be the last-ever brand-new Daihatsu for sale at its Derby site.
Motorpoint has sourced a Daihatsu Sirion 1.3 SE 5dr, with Sport Pack, and is retailing it for £6,999. This represents a saving of £2,523 off the January 2011 list price and is, believes Motorpoint MD David Shelton, ‘a piece of modern motoring history’.
Alongside the brand-new Sirion, Motorpoint also has stocks of nearly-new Daihatsu Materia, for £5,999: a saving of up to £5,329 off the old list price for this uniquely styled mini MPV. All offer the balance of the makers’ new car warranty.
Daihatsu no more
Daihatsu announced in January that sales of the brand would cease in Europe from the end of the month. The strength of the Japanese Yen led to the decision – it was impossible to sell the budget models for a budget price, and still make a profit.
New car stock within the official dealer network had already ceased by then, effectively ending the new car sales operations of dealers. Luckily, many of them were located on shared sites, with IM Group partners Subaru and Isuzu.
It was a decision with some historic relevance: Daihatsu was the first Japanese car brand to import models into the UK.
Daihatsu owners still supported
Reassuringly, for both current Daihatsu owners and the eventual buyer of that ‘last ever’ car at Motorpoint, the aftersales side will continue to be supported. Dealers will continue servicing Daihatsu models, and also carry on supplying parts for the full range.
Warranty work will also still be carried out: the new car warranty of recent models has not been cancelled because of the brand’s pull-out. This is particularly reassuring to more recent buyers – Daihatsu, remember, had incentivised sales with a five-year new car warranty…
What is replacing Daihatsu?
Daihatsu’s former importers, IM Group, now plans to import Chinese ‘Great Wall’ models, starting in the UK this year. Great Wall promises all its European models have been designed specifically to meet EU whole-vehicle type approval standards.
This will ensure, says the firm, ‘high standards of crash-worthiness, equal to those of modern European and Japanese vehicles’. A significant claim, given the very poor crash test performance of the first Chinese models tested in Europe.
Great Wall is a big player, too, with a broad range of cars. It has 22,000 employees and the capacity to build more than 800,000 vehicles a year!
In the UK, they are expected to shore up the value end of the market, just as Daihatsu did – but with larger models and a more comprehensive range of cars. We will bring you more details of the Great Wall launch plans as we get them.
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