Volkswagen Truck & Bus, and Hino Motors have entered into a strategic partnership to further their respective commercial vehicle businesses.
The two rivals will cooperate on electric vehicles, autonomous driving and the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as clean technology to help alleviate air pollution in emerging market cities.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, both partners will complement each other’s sales networks and manufacturing capabilities worldwide.
Volkswagen Truck & Bus is keen to tap into Hino’s strong presence across Asia, since its own commercial vehicle segment is heavily geared toward Europe and South America.
“The automobile industry is facing a massive once-in-a-century transformation,” said Yoshio Shimo, president and CEO of Hino Motors. “We cannot meet our customers’ demands by just providing the same value as we did in the past. Hino Motors and Volkswagen Truck & Bus share this sense of urgency.”
Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, said the tie-up will save both companies costs in product development and distribution: “Both companies are determined to face the challenges in the transportation industry with joint forces.”
According to the Nikkei, the partnership is expected to help the two truck makers catch up with Daimler, the leader in the commercial vehicles field, in emerging technologies.
Daimler’s Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus unit already started mass production of small electric trucks last year, in a world first. Daimler also has a plan to mass produce large electric trucks in 2020 or later, to take the lead in the field.
The VW partnership could help Hino Motors leapfrog its rivals in the development of autonomous driving systems and electric powertrains. Hino builds hybrid-engine trucks, but has yet to commercialize electric truck technology.
Image and content: Katsuya Miyagawa/Kyodo News-AP/Nikkei Asian Review