The Toyota Passo and Daihatsu Boon, coming in standard and high end models, the Passo Moda and Boon Silk, exemplifying Daihatsuâ€™s well known strategy of implementing two different designs on their vehicles.
Regarding the designs for the Passo Moda and the Boon Silk, Daihatsuâ€™s Tokyo-based design department section chief Mr. Koji Shimizu commented that â€œas the price is a little high for these models, we differentiated them by adding a sense of fine quality and sleekness.â€ 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 â€œthis allows for the high quality of the vehicle to appeal to oneâ€™s emotions.â€
So, why a rounder design? â€œBy making the carâ€™s design a little softer, we were able to better show off its fine quality.â€ However, Mr. Shimizu also said that â€œSimply making the car rounder gives you nothing but a round car.â€ â€œWe 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.â€
As a result, â€œthe 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 thatâ€™s more suited to their tastes, one that seems to speak to them.â€
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 â€œthe Passo is one of the lowest cost and smallest cars in this price range for Toyota, so the company is pushing the standard model.â€
On the other hand, â€œsince 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.â€ Furthermore, â€œThinking 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.â€
[Translated by Bryce Clarke]