Kei-Timeline ]


2016 June : Daihatsu becomes a totally owned subsidiary of Toyota.

2016 May  The resignation of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation (MMC) President Tetsuro Aikawa was announced and Nissan acquired a controlling interest in MMC.  It now hoped to draw a line under the fuel scandal of 2006.

2015 April 2nd : Suzuki is recalling two million vehicles across the globe, because the ignition switches may begin to smoke.  This recall is limited to the Japanese, European and Australian markets.  Affected vehicles were built between 1998 and 2009.  There have been no reports of injuries or accidents due to the 67 reported incidents, all of which come from the Japanese market.

2015 May 30th  : Honda rolls out production of the S660 roadster in Japan.  The new S660 adopts the same 660cc inline-three, but spins it around to mount it amidships and adds a turbocharger.  It’s got a roll-up canvas roof and a 2-tone cabin that gives driver and passenger seats of different shades.  45/55 front-rear weight distribution promises to keep it fun but friendly, with brake  based torque vectoring to keep it all under control.

2012 April 6th : The Daihatsu Copen, Japan’s last kei convertible is ending production.  After 10 years of production, there just aren’t enough orders coming in to justify its continued production.

2011 April 14th : 50.6% of households in Japan now own a kei car.  For the first time since 1986, more than 50% of households in Japan own at least one kei category vehicle. The Japan Mini Vehicles Association (JMVA) began tracking the mini vehicles back in 1986, and this is the highest level of ownership ever.  Long may it continue.

2011 :  Toyota launched its first minicar, the Pixis Space, a rebadged Daihatsu Move.

2006 : Mitsubishi partner Nissan found discrepancies between Mistubishi information and actual fuel consumption figures while working on new kei cars for both companies, most notably the eK Wagon, eK Space, Nissan Dayz and Nissan Dayz Roox.  Mitsubishi management blamed the kei car development department and after further investigation found out that this had been going on for the past 25 years and not since 2002 as previously thought.

1998 October 1st  : 660cc – Max power 47kW (64PS, 63hp) – Passengers 4 – load 350kgs (771.6lbs).

1998 October 1st : Max Length 3.4m (11.2ft)  Width 1.48m (4.9ft)  Height 2m (6.6ft).

1990 – Present : 660cc era engine size begins.

1990 March : Max power 47kW (64PS, 63HP) – Passengers 4 – Load 350kgs (771.6lbs).

1990 March : Max Length 3.3m (10.8ft)  Width 1.4m (4.6ft)  Height 2m (6.6ft).

1988 : Toyota buys a 51 percent controlling interest in Daihatsu.

1981 : Total sales achieved 1,229,809 units for cars and commercials.

1980 : Nearly 17% of exports went to Europe, Chile took nearly 25%.

1980 : Exports climbed 80.3% (to 94,301 units), of which 77.6% were microtrucks.

1976 -1990 : 550-cc era engine size.

1976 : Exports were up 74,633 (171% year-on-year).

1976 : Mazda withdrew from the kei car market but not for commercials.

1976 January 1st : Max Length 3.2m (10.5ft)   Width 1.4m (4.6ft)   Height 2m (6.6ft)

1976 January 1st : Engine size increased to 550 cc – passengers  4 –  max load 350kgs (771.6lbs).

1975 August 26th : Overall length and width restrictions increased by 200 mm and 100 mm.

1975 : The license plate size was increased to 330 × 165 mm yellow and black.

1975 : Only 150,000 cars were made, 80% less than 1970 sales.

1974 : Honda withdrew from the kei car market but not for commercials.

1970 July : Power output peaked at 40 PS (29 kW, 39 hp) in the Daihatsu Fellow Max SS.

1970 January : Disc brakes first became available on the Honda Z GS.

1970 : Sales increased, reaching a peak of 750,000.

1968 August : Automatic transmission first appeared in the Honda N360.

1955 May : In May 1955, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) announced a promotional program called the “People’s Car.”  Their       executive summary of the foreseen car was described as, “a 4-seater with a top speed of 100 kph, priced at ¥150,000 (£1,145).”

1955  April 4th : Max Length 3m (9.8ft)   Width is 1.3m (4.3ft)   Height 2m (6.6ft) – 360cc 4stroke.

1955 : Engine size increased to 360cc for 4-strokes and 2-strokes.

1951 Aug 16th : Max Length 3m (9.8ft)  Width 1.3m (4.3ft)  Height 2m (6.6ft) – 360cc 4str  240cc 2str.

1951 : Engine size increased again.

1950 : July 26th  Max Length 3m (9.8ft) Width 1.3m (4.3ft) Height 2m (6.6ft) – 300cc 4str / 200cc 2str.

1950  Engine size increased.

1949 – 1974 December 31st : The license plate size was 230mm x 125mm white and green.

1949 – 1975 : 360cc era engine size.

1949 July 8th : Max Length is 2.5m (9.2ft) and Max Width is 1m (3.3ft) Height 2m (6.6ft)

1949 : The engine size is 150cc for 4-strokes and 100cc for 2-strokes.


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