Daihatsu has produced seven million units in Indonesia, 43 years after the compact car expert set up shop there in 1978. The milestone was reached last month amidst a pandemic and Astra Daihatsu Motor (ADM) did a virtual ceremony to celebrate the occasion last week.

Daihatsu has come a long way in the republic, but the explosion of growth happened in recent times. The brand’s journey started there in 1962 with the three-wheeled Midget, known locally as the Bemo.

Production started in 1978, and it took 27 years to reach the one million mark in 2005. The landmark car was the Xenia, Daihatsu’s version of the Toyota Avanza. The second million came five years later in 2010 (also a Xenia). The time gap between the millions had started to shrink, and in 2013, the three millionth car rolled out.

Breakneck speed from there, as the fourth and fifth million markers were reached in 2015 and 2017 respectively. ADM’s sixth millionth car was produced less than two years later in 2019. This period of growth was boosted by budget LCGC models Daihatsu Sigra/Toyota Calya (2016 debut) and Daihatsu Ayla/Toyota Agya, their version of our Perodua Axia.

And despite having to introduce tight health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the seven millionth car – a yellow Rocky 1.2L – was completed in July 2021. The original prediction was for 2020, but Covid slowed things down.

Today, ADM has factories in Sunter and Karawang with a total production capacity of 530,000 units a year. The company, which also produces twin Toyota models for Toyota Astra Motor (same local partner in Astra), has contributed 40% of cars sold in Indonesia in the past five years. ADM-made cars have been exported to 75 countries, and the company has an R&D centre that is said to be the most complete facility of its kind in Indonesia, Daihatsu’s biggest overseas market.

ADM is in charge of developing and producing Toyota twin models such as the LCGC Calya and Agya

“The achievement of the seven millionth production milestone is an important moment for ADM, more so as it happened in the middle of a pandemic. Daihatsu will continue to be committed to fulfil the needs of our customers by providing the best products with a global quality standards,” said Kurniawan Rahardono, ADM’s executive officer.

ADM’s latest product is the Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize, the twin sisters of our Perodua Ativa. Having invested 1.7 trillion rupiah (RM494 million) for the production of the DNGA-based model, the company’s has plans to export the compact SUV to 50 countries in Toyota Raize form.

GALLERY: Daihatsu Rocky, Indonesia spec

GALLERY: Toyota Raize, Indonesia spec