Daimler Truck AG and Toyota Motor Corp. plan to merge their Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. and Hino Trucks Ltd. units to save money on advanced technology development and create a globally competitive Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Details of the merger, including what share each company would control, are pending. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2024. In a news release, Daimler Truck said the units would be merged on an equal footing.

Daimler Truck became an independent company following a split-off from the former Daimler AG in December 2021. It reorganized its businesses to include a Trucks Asia unit, consisting of its 89% ownership of Mitsubishi Fuso and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles.

Toyota owns 50.1% of Hino Trucks, which has embarrassed its parent with emissions data falsification scandals. Hino lost $838 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, including the costs of recalls and compensating customers and suppliers.  

“There is so much we can do to support Hino in the commercial vehicle business,” Kyodo News quoted Toyota CEO Koji Sato as saying during a news conference in Japan. “We will build a better Hino with advice from Daimler Truck and Mitsubishi Fuso under the new framework.”

Hino’s board of directors voted April 26 to dissolve a five-year strategic cooperation agreement with Volkswagen’s Traton Group.

‘A major force in Southeast Asia’

“The planned new company will be a major force in Southeast Asia and an important associate of the Daimler Truck family,” Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum said.

Collaboration on hydrogen fuel cells, with which both companies have significant expertise, is a focus of the merger. Daimler already has a 50-50 joint venture in fuel cells with rival Volvo Group called cellcentric. 

Hino has shelved plans for a Toyota-powered Class 8 fuel cell truck. It showed a concept the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in 2021.

Toyota is advancing its fuel cell efforts in commercial vehicles. It starts production in Kentucky later this year of a commercial fuel cell system for heavy-duty trucks. Toyota’s first customer is Paccar Inc., the parent company of Kenworth, Peterbilt and Europe’s DAF Trucks.

Related articles: 

Toyota aiming heavy-duty fuel cells for sale this year

3 legacy manufacturers unveil medium-duty electric trucks

High-priced technology pushes trucking rivals into unusual alliances

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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