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Toyota-owned Daihatsu, a gas engine stalwart, tries again in hybrid cars

One of Japan's biggest minicar makers joins electrification race

Daihatsu Motor intends to release a hybrid version of its Rocky SUV, with plans to make a similar switch for its minicars. (Photo by Ryutaro Yokoyama)

OSAKA -- Japan's Daihatsu Motor -- the country's only major automaker to develop all gasoline-powered cars -- plans to roll out a hybrid compact SUV this year in a second attempt at electrified vehicles, Nikkei has learned.

The hybrid version of the Rocky sport utility vehicle will feature technology co-developed by Daihatsu's parent, Toyota Motor. Hybrid minicars are to follow.

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