Toyota’s New Space Launches “Pixis” Kei Car Brand

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 9th, 2011

Despite owning a daughter company (Daihatsu) that specializes in kei cars (mini cars with small engines sold in the Japanese domestic market), Toyota has decided that it wants to have another kei brand – Pixis – that will launch with its first model the Pixis Space on September 26th. This will mark one year after Toyota announced its intention to enter the kei car market segment.

To call this a “new” car is stretching it a bit, because the Space is simply a rebadged version of Daihatsu’s Move Conte (pictured below). With prices ranging from 1.12 million to 1.61 million Yen, it looks like the Space range will be matching the Conte exactly on price as well, which leads me to wonder what the difference is – apart from the more obvious link with the Toyota brand and some new badges.

Daihatsu Move Conte - base model for the Toyota Pixis Space kei car

According to media sources, “Pixis” derives from the English word “pixie” to give the brand a cheeky, youthful feel. Apparently Toyota will be adding a van and truck model to its nascent Pixis range in December, with these models being based on Daihatsu’s Hijet. Although these kei cars will be sold in Toyota dealerships, the Pixis brand vehicles will have a separate area, presumably to enhance their distinctiveness. Toyota is expecting sales of around 60,000 units per year in 2012 once all three models are in place.

With kei cars making up about 40% of the domestic car market, it seems that Toyota wants to make sure that its dealerships become a one-stop shop for buyers of both standard passenger cars and the smaller kei cars. Although Daihatsu is part of the Toyota fold, Toyota obviously sees an advantage in not risking losing customers on their way to the Daihatsu dealership down the road, as well as the “halo” effect of a closer association with the respected Toyota brand.

Sources: Yomiuri, Nikkei, 47 News, Sankei Biz (Japanese-language)

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2 Responses to “Toyota’s New Space Launches “Pixis” Kei Car Brand”

  1. Leslie Tihanyi says:

    Hello !
    I DRIVE A 2004 SCION XB (KEI ?),AND LOVE IT.
    I WISH I ‘LL SEE SOME KEI CARS BEING IMPORTED TO CANADA
    AND ME AND ANOTHER 14 FRIEND OF MINE WOULD BUY NOT 1,BUT 2
    IN A HEARTBEAT !!!
    I THINK IT WOULD BE A 3 TO 10 (AT LEAST)SALE-RATIO,IF NOT
    MORE,EVEN IF NOTHING JUST A SECOND FAMILY VEHICLE.
    SO PLEASE MAKE SOME SAFETY MODIFICATIONS,AND MAKE IT A
    LEFTHAND DRIVE.
    I AM BEGGING YOU TO BRING IT HERE – P.L.E.A.S.E.!!!!!!!!!

    REGARDS
    LESLIE TIHANYI-TORONTO-ONTARIO-CANADA.(905-507-9672)
    tihanyileslie@gmail.com

    • Hello Leslie. A Scion XB is a Toyota BB in Japan. This is not a Kei car, as Kei cars have 660 CC or under engines. You are welcome to buy cars from us. Just remember that Canada has a 15 year rule, so anything under 15 years cannot be imported. Conversion is possible, but not warrantied, and will usually cost 250,000 to 300,000 JPY in addition to the cost of the car.

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