Posted Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10:23pm

Lots of oomph Japan’s small-car firms are defying the industry’s get-big-or-die imperative

ONE of the conundrums of the car business is that five smaller Japanese firms continue to prosper alongside three giants, Toyota, Nissan and Honda. In theory, those in the second division—Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Subaru—should long ago have merged with rivals at home or abroad, or fallen by the wayside. Daihatsu is already controlled by Toyota, which has a 51% stake in the firm. They all sell 1m-2m vehicles a year. Sergio Marchionne, boss of Fiat Chrysler, once said that 6m was the minimum required for carmakers to have a hope of turning a profit.