The new UD Quon is the finished product, now ready for market and there’s a UD 8×4 on the way. Diesel News examines the new Japanese heavy duty and sees it personifies the relationship between the brands in the Volvo stable.
Among the Japanese brands sold in Australia, UD trucks have always been the poor relation. The other brands have great strength in the lighter end of the market, and extend their ranges to play with the big boys in heavy duty.
UD has always had a more limited range – a couple of models in the medium-duty world and a few more in the lighter end of the heavy duty. They have sold well in the niches in the market the brand was suited to, but couldn’t offer the broad spread of models the other Japanese had at their disposal.
When Volvo Group took over the Japanese truck maker back in the 2000s, it was difficult to predict how any integration with the other brands – Volvo Mack and Renault – would pan out. It has taken until the last couple of years for the full picture to emerge and for UD Trucks to come to terms with its new identity.
If anything, this latest release from the company exemplifies just where the UD truck has come to and where it is going. With the new Quon, UD Trucks has a market-ready truck equipped to take on all comers in its segment.
“This just the beginning of the launch of the new Quon,” says Mark Strambi, Acting President, UD Trucks Australia. “Now, we are launching the 11-litre. In the future, we will have a much-expanded range – in the next 12 to 18 months, you will start to see that product roll out. There is a number of different axle configurations and there’s also a different engine. We will offer two engines in the future, an eight-litre and an 11-litre, with a horsepower range from 350 to 460.”
What we have is a truck that is very much a Japanese product, keeping all of the reassuring attention to detail we expect from the Japanese. It is, however, coupled with all of the latest technological equipment and safety systems we have come to expect from Volvo Group. It’s definitely a UD, and it definitely comes from the Volvo Group – and there’s an 8×4 on the way.
“We have launched an 8×4 Quon in New Zealand,” says Mark. “The project for an 8×4 in Australia is quite a comprehensive offer, and it’s not just going to be in the 11-litre. It will be developed and launched within the next 18 months. We are extremely confident about where it will fit in with the market.”
The technology transfer has taken a similar form to the changes in the Mack product. The same system is renamed for the separate brand but comes across in its latest form.