Daihatsu hopes its new Sirion, which goes on sale this month, will enable them to reach an overall sales target of 6,000 units this year.
International Motors, the UK independent importers with the Subaru and Isuzu franchises, took over the UK distribution and sales for Daihatsu vehicles in January 2000 and since that time it has struggled, with a lack of new models, to grow their annual sales above 4,500 units each year. "We see our future growth driven by new models," says Paul Tunnicliffe, International Motors managing director.
The new Sirion 1.0 S will be priced at £6,995 and the 1.3 S at £7,795. SE models range from £7,695 up to £9,195 for the automatic variant.
"We expect to sell around 3,000 of the new Sirion models this year which equates to 50% of our total sales. This coupled to the run-out programme we have for the current Terios four wheel drive models, which we recently reduced by £2,000, should see us reach our target of 6,000 for this year,” says Tunnicliffe.
"The new Terios we are introducing next year is about half as big again as the current model and it comes with a 1.5-litre petrol engine. We expect to sell 3,500 of these new models in 2006." Tunnicliffe also said that Daihatsu has to grow its UK sales, but not at any cost.
“Although the profit margins are slim on out cars, we and our dealers are not in the business to lose money.
“Growing the UK sales volumes is linked to receiving new models and we have expanded our UK dealer network by 40 last year. We now have 125 throughout the UK and we think we should expand this figure still further, say to 140, for us to reach the 10,0000 units a years sales target in the future".