Toyota Passo / Daihatsu Boon to soon be discontinued, spirit lives on in Perodua Myvi
Hans · May 6, 2021 12:11 PM
The Daihatsu Boon and Toyota Passo twins, which formed the basis for early models of our Perodua Myvi, will soon be no more in Japan.
The push to adopt hybrids in Japan and Toyota’s effort to streamline its unnecessarily complicated sales channels will soon make the Passo redundant, as Toyota has plans to streamline the Passo’s role with its hugely successful Toyota Yaris.
As you already know, the first two generation models of the Perodua Myvi were based on the Japanese market Daihatsu Boon, which was also sold there as the Toyota Passo.
To Perodua’s credit, the Myvi wasn’t just a mere rebadge job, as quite a lot of changes were made to localize the donor Daihatsu model to suit the requirements of Malaysians.
The current generation Myvi however, is completely unrelated to the Japanese market Daihatsu Boon / Toyota Passo so this development won’t affect Perodua in any way.
Colloquially (some say it’s derogatory) known as the ‘king’ in Malaysia, the Perodua Myvi is here to stay, even if its forefathers to whom it owes its existence are bowing out.
Why the Daihatsu Boon / Toyota Passo are doing poorly in Japan
Latest sales data from Japan shows that sales of the Toyota Passo is holding steady at around 3,200 units per month (as of March 2021), ranking around 25th place on Japan’s sales charts. That’s quite a big drop from its peak in 2017, when it was averaging around 4,510 units per month.
The lack of hybrid, which is now super important for Japanese buyers, is limiting the Passo's appeal. It will be important to you too if you have to pay RM 5.60 per litre for regular RON 90 petrol.
The Daihatsu Boon was never a strong seller, often ranking outside the Top-50 and thus its numbers are not publically available.
The current generation Boon / Passo was introduced in 2016 and five years on, it is reaching the last legs of their model lifecycle. However a report from a Japanese publication say Daihatsu - which develops and manufactures the Passo for Toyota - has no plans to replace the Boon, leaving its future in doubt.
There are several reasons to this. First, Japan has announced that it will ban regular combustion engine new cars after 2030, and there is no hybrid version of the Boon / Passo.
Moving forward, hybrid is a must-have feature for any new car in Japan, unless it's a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV).
Of course it’s possible to develop a hybrid Boon / Passo but Toyota sees very little benefit in doing so since they already have the Yaris hybrid, which is hugely successful. In fact, the Yaris is the No.1 selling model in Japan (but numbers include the Yaris Cross).
Previously, the Toyota Passo had a role to play in Toyota’s separated dealer channels. The Yaris (then known as the Vitz) used to be exclusive to Toyota’s Netz dealer network while the Passo was exclusive to its Corolla dealer network (not to be confused with the Corolla car model).
However since May 2020, Toyota has unified its sales channels and Japanese customers can now buy any Toyota model from any of its dealers.
As a direct result of the move, Toyota is now cutting down overlapping models and between the Toyota Yaris (which is Toyota’s own model) and the Toyota Passo (which is Daihatsu’s), obviously they will keep the Yaris and throw out the Passo.
The Passo will be yet another casualty of Toyota’s effort to cut down its model line-up, in an effort to improve operational efficiency.
The Vellfire is another. Once exclusive only to Netz stores, sales of the Vellfire has dropped drastically ever since both the Vellfire and its Alphard twin can be purchased from any Toyota dealer. Toyota has since trimmed down the Vellfire’s variant offerings from 7 to 3, and the model is expected to be discontinued by 2022, leaving just the Toyota Alphard.
The Toyota Roomy and Toyota Tank, which like the Alphard / Vellfire, are similar models sold at different dealers, have also been merged into just the Toyota Roomy. The Roomy use to be sold only at Toyota Stores and Corolla dealers, while the Tank was only found at Toyopet and Netz dealers.
You may read more about the background to Toyota’s diverse dealer network groups, each selling its own unique models, in the link below.
Currently, the only reason for the Passo to remain in Toyota’s line-up is because it is cheaper than the Yaris, with a starting price of 1.265 million Yen versus the Yaris’ 1.395 million Yen.
However, developing a new Passo hybrid would certainly raise its selling price, thus removing its price advantage and with it, removing any reason to keep the Passo versus the Yaris.
Without Toyota contributing to its sales volume, Daihatsu, which has a smaller dealer network than Toyota, cannot afford to develop a new Daihatsu Boon on its own, thus sealing the Boon’s fate.
If one looks at it another way, you can say that while the Toyota Passo / Daihatsu Boon will soon bow out of Japan, it’s spirit will live on in its Malaysian descendent, the Perodua Myvi, which is also sold in Indonesia as the Daihatsu Sirion.
The Daihatsu Boon will not be the only model that Daihatsu will be cutting down.
The Daihatsu Move, which used to be sold in Malaysia as the Perodua Kenari, will also be bowing out as increasingly strict exhaust emission compliance cost has made the kei car market very tough and Daihatsu needs to streamline its model offerings.