Volkswagen is looking to make tracks in the trucking world. To be labelled as a trucking powerhouse, a brand needs a valid presence in Japan, Europe, and the US. At the moment, Volkswagen has renamed its trucking wing Traton. Under this umbrella, Volkswagen has a large, gradually increasing stake in Navistar, giving it access to US markets.
Europe and Japan
Other global Traton trucks include MAN and Scania. In South America, Volkswagen operates under the banner of VW Trucks. Scania and MAN cover Europe, while Navistar is doing well in North America, but Japan remains unconquered. Volkswagen tested the waters by purchasing a stake in Isuzu, but it performed poorly, and they let it go. Now they’ve signed a deal with Hino, the trucking wing of Toyota. Their partnership was officially inked in April 2018.
At the time of the agreement, Traton and Hino intended to partner in two main areas: procurement and e-mobility. The electronic networking component should lead to enhanced tech for Hino trucks, while the procurement component should make it easier for truckers to source Volkswagen truck parts. Traton brands like Scania and Navistar mostly play in the heavy-duty space, while Hino specialises in medium-duty and light-duty trucks, so it’s a good fit, and each sub-division can benefit from the technical strengths of the other.
Electric truck domination
Next year, Hino plans to release its first-ever heavy-duty truck, the Hino PROFIA [700 Series] Hybrid. Traton’s role here is to speed up general production using e-mobility tools and practices which help with development and marketing. Hino itself has been leading the electric car space for the last quarter century. No other truck brand surpasses the size and volume of the Hino hybrid truck fleet. It’s a verified world leader, both in quality and truck numbers. Its market share, therefore, fits Volkswagen’s vision of dominating trucks in Japan.
Yoshio Shimo, the CEO and President of Hino, praised the shared motivation of Hino and Traton to ‘provide the highest value for customers.’ His counterpart Andreas Renschler is the CEO of Traton and a member of Volkswagen’s management board. He’s in charge of commercial vehicles at Volkswagen, and he echoes Yoshio, calling the partnership a source of strength for both brands. He says the trucking world is changing, and together, Hino and Traton will shepherd ‘the ongoing transformation of transportation.’