With the announcement of an extended deal between Traton and Hino, Volkswagen are closer to becoming a global truck player. Traton is the new name for the current Volkswagen truck making group, which includes Scania, MAN, VW Trucks in South America and an increasing holding in Navistar in the US.
To match the scale of the other major players in the global trucking world, Daimler and Volvo, Traton needs to have a serious player in the European, US and Japanese truck markets. Traton is steadily increasing the percentage of the makers of the International brand, Navistar in the US, it owns, and needs a Japanese arm to complete the trifecta.
VW did take a small percentage stake in Isuzu a few years ago, but this failed to increase and has since been dropped by the group. The only other alternative is Hino, owned by, automotive giant, Toyota. Whether this new agreement will grow through acquisition or a closer, and mutually beneficial, working relationship is uncertain. However, Volkswagen’s appetite for a global market presence has been clear for some time.
This week Traton and Hino have announced new details on their strategic partnership. Both partners have agreed on two strategic initiatives: to join forces in e-mobility and the plan to establish a procurement joint venture.Earlier this year, in April, the two truck makers had entered a strategic partnership.
“The last couple of months have confirmed what we sensed when we announced our partnership in spring 2018: Hino and Traton share the same motivation of providing highest value for our customers,” said Yoshio Shimo, President and CEO of Hino. “I am delighted that we made good progress in the field of e-mobility and procurement. With every new meeting, I gain confidence that we are moving in the right direction to strengthen our relationship of trust and to pursue further possibilities. Today’s announcement is our important first step.”
Andreas Renschler, CEO of Traton and member of the Management Board of Volkswagen responsible for Commercial Vehicles, said, “The partnership between Traton and Hino will be a source of strength for both of us. Our sector is changing. Together, we will be able to shape the ongoing transformation of transportation. Our partnership is taking concrete shape, and we are continuously identifying new opportunities. The cooperation in e-mobility and the establishment of a procurement joint venture is just the beginning.”
In e-mobility, Traton and Hino plan to share their development efforts and market products in shorter time. Hino has a history of more than 25 years in electrified vehicles and the largest running fleet of hybrid commercial vehicles in the world. Also, Hino will start sales of a heavy-duty hybrid truck (Hino PROFIA [700 Series] Hybrid) with an AI-based hill anticipation hybrid control system in Japan next year.
While Traton is focused on heavy-duty applications, Hino focuses on light and medium-duty trucks. Joining forces will strengthen the innovation power of the partners.