Daihatsu Motor Co. began marketing its new compact car "Mira e:S," the most fuel efficient non-hybrid gasoline car on the market.
The car runs around 30 kilometers to the liter, and is Daihatsu's try to capture a share of the green car market with an extremely efficient gasoline car. Such cars have been called the "third" type of green car after hybrids and electric vehicles.
"We've returned to the things that create compact cars appealing. Low price, good fuel economy, and little use of resources and forced them to the limit," said Daihatsu President Koichi Ina at an announcement of the Mira e:S's sale in Tokyo. In add-on to superb fuel economy, the Mira e:S's price tag has been kept low, with prices starting at 795,000 yen.
The car carries a new engine with enhanced fuel-burning efficiency and a function that turns off the engine automatically when speed drops to seven kilometers per hour or lower. By finding ways to decrease the number of parts, engineers made the car around 60 kilograms lighter, or about 8 percent lighter, than earlier cars in the Mira line.
To maintain prices down, Daihatsu used parts from Chinese and South Korean makers for the first time. "We cannot permit our company to be adversely affected by foreign exchange rates," said Ina, who expressed his intent to increase imports of parts from abroad.
"Interest in compact cars has grown-up, and we are expect a boost in demand," said Ina. The company predicts high sales of the new car: 120,000 for the first year, and 50,000 for the rest of this year.
The company plans to initiate technology used in the Mira e:S into other car models, including ones made and sold in Indonesia and Malaysia.