Business / Corporate

Daihatsu buys Tokyo office building in minicar expansion push


Daihatsu Motor Co., the maker of minicars that is majority-owned by Toyota Motor Corp., bought an office building in Tokyo to strengthen its business in the nation’s largest metropolitan area.

Daihatsu will move its 70 Tokyo employees now working in a rented office to the nine-story building in the Nihonbashi business district and begin operations Oct. 14, Emi Yoshino, a spokeswoman, said on Thursday. She declined to give a purchase price. The company had owned part of the building and moved out in 2010.

Demand for minicars, which make up about 40 percent of domestic vehicle sales, has been hit by the first consumption tax hike in 17 years in April. While Daihatsu posted declining deliveries in five of the six months since the higher levy, the company leads Suzuki Motor Corp. by more than 4,000 units this year through September.

Daihatsu is maintaining its target of selling 660,000 vehicles in Japan this year, Hitoshi Horii, a senior managing executive officer in charge of domestic sales, said in an interview last month.

The Osaka-based company, which has 15,000 employees in the country, sees demand rising in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics in the Tokyo market, where the carmaker has underperformed in part because it operates from western Japan, he said.

The office Daihatsu purchased was previously occupied by Astellas Pharma Inc., which built and moved into a new headquarters nearby in Nihonbashi.

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