Delta Motors Corporation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Delta Motors Corporation
Industry Manufacturing, automotive industry
Fate Political disfavor[1]
Successor Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP)
Founded 1962
Defunct 1984
Headquarters Manila, Philippines
Area served
Key people
Ricardo Silverio
Products Automobiles, engines

Delta Motors Corporation is a now defunct automobile company from the Philippines, formed by Ricardo Silverio. It operated under a technical tie-up with Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan,[2] but also produced its own range of small off-roaders called the "Delta Mini Cruiser". Delta Motors was founded in 1962 and continued to be Toyota's local assembler and distributor until 1984.[3]


In addition to assembling Toyota's for the local market, Delta also used their own name to market the "Mini Cruiser", a little off-roader appearing a lot like a scaled-down 40-series Toyota Land Cruiser and using Toyota engines and other technology. It was developed in the mid-seventies especially for the Philippine Army as the M-1777, but was also sold commercially. The Mini Cruiser (sometimes called the Explorer) was even exported, to Colombia, Papua New Guinea, the Middle East and to Italy.[4] In Italy it was sold by Gandin Auto from 1980.[5] About 500 units were sold in Italy until supplies dried up in 1986, following Delta's untimely bankruptcy in 1984.[6] The now rare Delta Mini Cruiser also became available as a two-seater pickup truck, estate, van, and as a five-seater jeep in the 1980s.

An interesting development was one of the first "Asian Utility Vehicles" (AUV), the Toyota Tamaraw. This little utilitarian car was based on the Indonesian Kijang, and the "Tamaraw" name continues to be used in the Philippine market today, also becoming a colloquial term for any AUV. Toyota themselves refer to this car as a BUV, for "Basic Utility Vehicle". The BUV was intended to be a general-purpose vehicle for developing countries, designed to meet local needs and facilitate technology transfers in order to respond to the domestic production policies of various Asian countries. Philippine assembly began in December 1976.[3]

Delta also built Toyota's 12R engine, the tools and die-sets for which were acquired through the Philippine National Bank (PNB) as part of Japan's war reparations to the Philippines.

Long wheelbase Delta Mini Cruiser belonging to the Philippine Army

The end[edit]

The politically powerful Silverio fell out of favor with then Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos during the Philippine economic downturn in the early eighties.[1] Operations came to a halt in December 1983 and by March 1984 Toyota cancelled their tie-up. The company was dissolved in 1988, with 35% going to Toyota and Mitsui and the remaining 65% going to the Philippine National Bank.[2] Since August 1988 Philippine market Toyotas have been assembled and sold there by a wholly owned subsidiary called Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP).[3]

Toyota Models[edit]


The company was active in professional basketball from 1973 to 1983 with its popular Toyota basketball team, bannered by superstars like Alberto Reynoso, Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz and Ramon Fernandez.


  1. ^ a b Doner, Richard F. (1991), Driving a Bargain: Automobile Industrialization and Japanese Firms in Southeast Asia, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Oxford: University of California, p. 81, ISBN 0-520-06938-2 
  2. ^ a b Doner, p. 43
  3. ^ a b c "Activities by region: Asia: Philippines". 75 Years of Toyota. Toyota Motor Corporation. Retrieved 2014-10-04. 
  4. ^ Doner, p. 316
  5. ^ Anselmi, Gian Piero (July–September 1984). Marin, Gianni, ed. "A Torino passerella delle nostre passioni" [Our passions, on parade in Turin]. Auto in Fuoristrada (in Italian) (Milan: Rusconi Editore) 3 (7): 43, 46. 
    Imported by Plan Motor Italia of Turin, the car was marketed by Gandin Auto in Treviso. The engines originally offered were a Philippine-built Toyota 1587 cc four-cylinder (12R) with 69 PS, or the Isuzu C190 1951 cc diesel engine with 63 PS. After a reintroduction and some changes first presented at the 1984 Expofuoristrada in Turin, the diesel was replaced by VM Motori's 2393 cc "HR492" turbodiesel (100 PS) which was installed by the importer. 1984 prices ranged from 15,024,000 for 4AG-engined version to 19,972,000 lira for the turbodiesel (p. 163).
  6. ^ "Delta Mini Cruiser". Retrieved 2011-12-22.