The booth of Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. was lined up with 14 units of the Copen. A trailer that is being towed by the same car can be found in a corner of the said booth. The SME’s of Sanjo City came up with this product in collaboration with Daihatsu; they are going to launch it to the market on a build-to-order manufacturing basis from here onwards.
Sanjo City is a region in Niigata Prefecture which has a lot of SME’s that specialize in craftsmanship. There are also a lot of world-renowned companies from among them. The collaboration between Sanjo City and Daihatsu began in June of last year, exactly at the same period as the Copen’s release into the market.
“There was a proposal from Daihatsu saying they wanted the expertise of Sanjo City applied to the Copen; a unit was provided for us together with the expectation that we would make a more fascinating vehicle out of it. We initially considered coming up with a customized car, however we decided against that as it would not enable us to stand out in an auto salon that is teeming with customized cars; eventually we decided that we had to build something that has distinct characteristics. So, we produced this trailer.”, Kaoru Itagaki, the president of Itadaki Kinzoku Ltd. explained.
Two other companies, as well as some designers, joined Itagaki Kinzoku in the manufacturing process; they were able to complete the project in the span of six months. The development cost was approximately 10 million yen; and naturally it was completed with the full use of mechanical craftsmanship. President Itagaki said, “The trailer can be hauled by various vehicles, such as compact cars, as it was made to fit international standards.”
It had an immense impact at the venue as a lot of visitors expressed their willingness to buy the product; several car manufacturing companies instantly made inquiries about it as well. The price is not yet fixed, however, it could conceivably be sold for 500,000 to 800,000 yen based from the reaction at the venue.
(Translated by Michael Sabaldan)