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Volvo Buys 13% of Nissan Diesel

AB Volvo acquired 40 million common shares, corresponding to 13%, in the Japanese truck manufacturer Nissan Diesel from Nissan Motor, with an option to acquire the remaining 6% of the shares from Nissan Motor within four years. The purchase price is approximately SEK billion 1.5 (US$195 million).

The transaction strengthens Volvo’s Asian strategy and is intended to provide Volvo with access to Nissan Diesel’s dealer and service network in Japan and Southeast Asia, and create a possibility for further industrial cooperation with Nissan Diesel in such areas as engines and transmissions.

Volvo and Nissan Motor are also going to assess the possibilities for cooperation in the commercial vehicle business in China together with Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd.

There are interesting points of synergy between Nissan Diesel and Volvo: each, for example, has developed compression-ignition engine trucks fueled by dimethyl ether. (Earlier post on Volvo DME, earlier post on Nissan Diesel DME.) Each also has well-developed SCR systems for emissions reduction. (Earlier post on Volvo, earlier post on Nissan.)

Nissan Diesel is Japan’s fourth largest manufacturer of heavy and medium-heavy trucks, with an annual production of slightly less than 40,000 trucks in 2005. More than 90% of Nissan Diesel’s sales are made through its own dealers and Nissan Diesel has a well-established dealer and service network in Japan, as well as in the rest of Southeast Asia.

Both Nissan and Volvo belong to the Renault SA group, with the major French automaker holding a roughly 44% interest in Nissan and about 20% of Volvo. Renault sold its truck division to Volvo in 2001.


Rafael Seidl

A few years ago, Japan had become quite hostile to diesel technology due to a PR campaign by the Tokyo prefecture blaming it for poor air quality. Now that AGR and SCR as well as particulate filters are available, perhaps the Japanese public will take a more balanced view. Euro 4-compliant truck engines are the cleanest ever diesels, and very close to gasoline (but with higher efficiency).

DME is superior to straight diesel in many respects but it must be synthesized from CO and H2 (cp. xTL processes). Advances in technology are intended to bring down the cost of production:

Just to put things in perspective: the EIA estimates that Russia delivers ~170 billion m^3 of natural gas but loses a staggering additional ~70 billion m^3 in gas flares and transport (leaky pipelines -> massive GHG emissions). You could produce a lot of synfuel with what they manage to waste.

Paul Berg

Here is the Swedish batteries they are going to use... Toyota, look att this !!!


I don't think Toyota is worried about batteries. They've been partnered with Panasonic for years in developing new gen lithium ion batteries to be used in Toyota's next generation hybrid system. More recently, Toyota also partnered with Fuji Heavy Industries to collaborate on and develop lithium ion batteries.

Fuji Heavy and Panasonic are two of the world's leading innovators and makers of batteries.

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