Daihatsu Boon Silk

New Toyota Passo & Daihatsu Boon: Two Pronged Strategy

The Toyota Passo and Daihatsu Boon, coming in standard and high end models, the Passo Moda and Boon Silk, exemplifying Daihatsu’s well known strategy of implementing two different designs on their vehicles.

Regarding the designs for the Passo Moda and the Boon Silk, Daihatsu’s Tokyo-based design department section chief Mr. Koji Shimizu commented that “as the price is a little high for these models, we differentiated them by adding a sense of fine quality and sleekness.” By changing the design sensibility away from the cube-oriented motif of the standard model towards a rounder, more curve-informed sense with the high end models, Mr. Shimizu stated that “this allows for the high quality of the vehicle to appeal to one’s emotions.”

So, why a rounder design? “By making the car’s design a little softer, we were able to better show off its fine quality.” However, Mr. Shimizu also said that “Simply making the car rounder gives you nothing but a round car.” “We made the basic stance of the vehicle more firmly set. In particular, we widened the wheel base, allowing for the treads to be more widely spread, further highlighting the excellence of the frame and affording more safety and security.”

As a result, “the standard models have a more neutral appearance and a design sense that affords the feeling of safety and security. We tried to make it so customers could choose the car that’s more suited to their tastes, one that seems to speak to them.”

This two-pronged approach highlight the differences between the respective approaches of Toyota and Daihatsu. Toyota is pushing the standard model with Daihatsu is pushing the Boon Silk with its high end qualities. According to Mr. Shimizu, this is because “the Passo is one of the lowest cost and smallest cars in this price range for Toyota, so the company is pushing the standard model.”

On the other hand, “since Daihatsu is primarily engaged in selling lightweight cars, if you think about it in terms of price and lineup, the company has formulated its strategy around customers wanting a high class Boon.” Furthermore, “Thinking about what it is that makes customers purchase cars based on their personal tastes, at the fringe of this decision you have their likes and dislikes, so we wanted to provide a sleek design with a good frame so that customers would not want to outright reject the vehicle.”

[Translated by Bryce Clarke]