The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Isuzu Motors Ltd. and Hino Motors Ltd. will start talks as early as January on a possible alliance to develop next-generation diesel engines for trucks.
Toyota Motor, which recently acquired a 5.9% stake in Isuzu, holds a 50.1% interest in Hino. Toyota is working with Isuzu on light-duty diesels. (Earlier post.)
If they reach an agreement, the two companies will emerge as a powerful competitor in the nation&RSQUO;s truck industry to rival Nissan Diesel Motor Co., which has capital ties with Sweden&RSQUO;s Volvo group, and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp., which has been incorporated into Daimler-Chrysler group.
“Because our parent company [Toyota] has tied up with Isuzu in the passenger vehicle field, the environment is now ready for us, as a member of the Toyota group, to accelerate cooperation with Isuzu in trucks as well,” [Shoji] Kondo [president of Hino] said.
The main objective of the alliance will be to develop new types of engines to comply with the stringent exhaust emission controls that will come into effect by 2010 in Japan, as well as in Europe and the United States.