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.