Daihatsu was formed in 1951, and was largely influenced by the Engineering Department's faculty of Osaka University, to develop a gasoline powered engine for small stationary power plants. It wasn't until the 1960s when the company's cars began to gain recognition, when exports into Europe and the USA began.
However, Daihatsu didn't really find success in Europe until the late-1970s, with the arrival of the F20 off-roader and Charade supermini. Daihatsu concentrated its efforts on small cars, and continues to be a large player in the Japanese Kei car market. In January 2011, Daihatsu announced that it would pull out of Europe, and has been off UK price lists since 2010.