Japanese car manufacturer Daihatsu aims to be the first motor
company in the UK to launch a full range of banking services, including
current accounts and mortgages.
The initiative is part of a strategy designed to establish Daihatsu as a
lifestyle brand for travel and recreation, which could enter a range of
markets in a similar way to Virgin.
Daihatsu’s diversification comes as BMW plans to position itself as a
service brand, rather than just a motor manufacturer, in preparation for
a change in European law which will allow any company to sell cars.
Although other car firms, including BMW, Volkswagen and Ford, have
financial services divisions, they only offer car finance deals.
Daihatsu Financial Services, a joint venture between the company, its UK
distributor Inchcape Motor Retail and Bank of Scotland subsidiary
Capital Bank, aims to offer a range of banking products, including home,
motor and travel insurance and credit cards, by 1999.
Daihatsu, which is part-owned by Toyota, plans to capture 5% of the
European small-car market over the next five years. This year, it
boosted its ad spend from pounds 1m to pounds 7m, through Banks Hoggins
The company has also launched schemes such as City Daihatsu, which
allows customers in London to test-drive and buy cars from their own
Paul Williams, chief executive of Daihatsu UK, said soon there would be
little difference between selling cars and supplying transport
’We know that people do not want to drive around in a Daihatsu all the
time, so we are going to extend our relationship with customers to other
See story, page 7.