While Japanese automotive awards don’t normally rate a mention in Australian media, a recent award to Fuso has set a new benchmark by being the first truck maker to win a prestigious automotive award normally reserved for car brands.
As a proud statement from corporate parent Daimler states, ‘For the first time in the history of Japanese passenger car awards, the ‘Car of the Year Special Award 2013’ has been awarded to a truck manufacturer.’
Judges singled out Fuso’s innovative, fully-automated dual-clutch Duonic transmission, paired with a highly efficient hybrid drive system, at the prestigious ‘Automotive Researchers´ and Journalists´ Conference’ (RJC) held in Japan.
Duonic technology is unique in the commercial vehicles industry and is a vital element in the light-duty Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid model, produced by Daimler’s Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation in both Japan and Portugal.
The RJC was founded in 1990 and is comprised of automotive experts and journalists from the automobile industry in Japan. The annual ‘Car of the Year Award’ is one of the most prominent automobile events in Japan.
Suitably impressed with the award, Mitsubishi Fuso president and chief executive officer Dr Albert Kirchmann said, “We are honored to have received this prestigious award. It is a huge milestone achieved at Fuso in Japan and a great honor for the Daimler Trucks Group.
“The award is proof of Fuso’s leadership role in green innovation,” he enthused.
According to a Daimler statement, a particularly persuasive argument for winning the ‘Car of the Year Special Award 2013’ is the combined Duonic transmission with a built-in hybrid drive system in the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid.
Daimler says this drive technology, combined with a powerful lithium-ion battery, reaps top scores for fuel economy and low emissions. Thus, the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid uses up to 23 percent less fuel than a comparable conventional Fuso Canter, it’s claimed.
Power transmission of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid is one of the paramount technical features of the model. During driving, for instance, the next gear is already pre-set, thus ensuring a seamless gearshift.
Through the optimisation of truck operating costs and the reduction of CO2 emissions by 7.5 percent, it’s widely believed Fuso is well on the way to playing a key role in fuel efficiency and green innovations. This claim is based on one of the five strategic pillars of what’s called the ‘FUSO 2015’ growth strategy, with Fuso planning to double its international sales to 200,000 units per year in the medium-term.
In 2011 around 147,700 Fuso trucks – light, medium and heavy-duty – and buses were sold worldwide.