Some cars may be more popular with one gender group or the other. You’re bound to see more women in, say, Volkswagen Beetles than Dodge Challengers, for example. But by and large, automakers have gotten away from designing cars specifically for (and marketing them directly to) women any more than they would for men. That is, in the North American market, anyway.
Over in Japan, though, it’s a whole different story: one where you might see a special Hello Kitty edition Mitsubishi Mirage, or the new Daihatsu Move Canbus. It may not be emblazoned in cutesy graphics, but it isn’t hard to tell to which demographic Daihatsu is marketing this one to. (Never mind the name that sounds like it’s being directed more at hippies.)
The new Kei car is the latest in the automaker’s Move lineup whose first member was originally designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. But instead of the legendary designer’s signature styling, the Canbus variant goes in a decidedly more retro (read: adorable) direction. It being a Kei car, it can measure no more than 11.2 feet long and 4.9 feet wide, with an engine no bigger than 660 cc (as in, 0.66 liters) producing no more than 63 horsepower. But within those parameters, Daihatsu sure has packed in a lot of cutesy.
The layout is that of a minivan, albeit shrunken down to pint-size form. So it has conventional front doors, sliding rear doors, and a tailgate. All the better for getting your shopping done – if you go by some of the images below, in which the only males depicted are either about to be run down by or making eyes at the vehicle’s female driver, who might as well be dressed as Sailor Moon.
We’ve seen plenty of retro cars designed to appeal to men. The Plymouth Prowler and Chevy SSR come to mind, as do most muscle cars, not to mention the FJ Cruiser only recently discontinued by Toyota – which also happens to be Daihatsu’s parent company. This particular little van, however, was clearly designed with another demographic in mind.