A quest to fast track zero emission transport with new drive technologies such as batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen combustion engines has prompted two of three biggest vehicle manufacturers in Japan to join forces to capitalise on the power of economies of scale
“I have worked in this industry for more than three decades and this day definitely is one of the most special days in my entire career because the news we share with you today is truly great news”.
So said Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum this week as he announced a Memorandum of Understanding between Daimler Truck, Mitsubishi Fuso, Hino and Toyota Motor Corporation aimed at accelerating the development of Advanced Technologies and merging Mitsubishi Fuso and Hino Motors.
“We intend to link the future of two amazing companies to shaep the future of the commercial vehicle industry in Japan, Asia and even beyond,” Daum says.
With a global push to move away from high emission vehicles as quickly as possible, manufacturers are moving quickly to find new solutions, a challenge Daum says brings with it a question of funding.
“The transformation of our industry means we need to fund several new drive technologies at the same time. Batteries, hydrogen based fuel cells and, potentially, also hydrogen internal combustion engines,” Daum says.
“This is quite a stretch, even for the leading companies in our industry. And there is only one way to make this parallel development work; economies of scale. Scale is key; it is absolutely essential to leverage investments and to spread them across a larger base and today we are making a bold move in that respect.”
Daum said Daimler Truck (which has 89 per cent of the stock in Mitsubishi Fuso) would provide the combined Fuso/Hino business full access to its heavy duty technology as part of the deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus CEO Karl Deppen said merging with Hino would help both companies on the path to decarbonisation.
“Together, we will become a force, a strong Japanese truck company with a complimentary portfolio of products and a massive service and dealer network and a workforce of highly experienced, motivated employees across the globe,” Deppen says.
“This merger will position us as the foremost player in the Asian transportation industry, strong enough to compete with all the new brands we see entering the market, especially outside of Japan.”
Hino CEO Satoshi Ogiso sees the collaboration as a positive step for a greener future.
“We will unite our aspirations to ‘support mobility and contribute to society’ and, hand in hand, accelerate advanced technology development in order to overcome the increasingly fierce global competition,” Ogiso says.
“Through these efforts, we will strive to tackle societal challenges such as achieving carbon neutrality”.
The four way statement released on May 30 by the companies involved says the “details on the scope and nature of the collaboration including the name, location, shareholding ratio and corporate structure of the new holding company will be decided over the course of the next 18 months”.
“The parties envisage signing of definitive agreements in the first quarter of 2024 and aim to close the transaction by the end of 2024.
“Once all parties involved reach an agreement, they will move forward based on the approval of the relevant boards of directors, shareholders and authorities.”