Toyota and Daimler struck a preliminary deal to combine their commercial truck brands to fund new models.
Toyota-owned Hino Trucks and Daimler-owned Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp will combine forces to accelerate both companies’ technology in the commercial truck market, according to a joint statement Tuesday.
At a press conference in Tokyo, Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum said of the merger: “We are accelerating toward zero emissions, but there is one major challenge and this is the required funding. There is only one way to make this parallel development work: economies of scale.” Specifically, all four entities aim to combine research and development into autonomous driving technology, as well as hydrogen powertrains in future commercial vehicles. Toyota has heavily invested in hydrogen tech, which powers its busses in Japan, as well as obviously having a strong reputation for hybrid vehicles.
“It is hard to go at it alone,” said Toyota CEO Koji Sato. “Working together is crucial,” and to that end the combined Hino-Mitsubishi Fuso operation will accelerate the rollout of electrified trucks across southeast Asia and in other global markets.
While Mitsubishi Fuso pulled out of new truck sales in the U.S. and Canada in 2020, it does currently plans to provide parts and service support for existing models through 2028. Hino is a more widespread brand in the U.S., so we may likely see any fruits of this merger through that brand on our shores.
Each company says it will work out the structure of its combined operations over the next 18 months.
They aim to sign a firm deal by next year and actually finalize the transaction by late 2024, so long as it gets shareholder and regulator approval. Hino may particularly benefit from the deal, as its reputation suffered a blow when investigators unearthed a 20-year-long emissions scandal at the company, where it falsified emissions data as far back as 2003. Four Hino executives stepped down last October, though President Satoshi Ogiso remains in his role.