Three-quarters of a century ago, the Fuso name was first applied to a bus built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Kobe Shipyard and Machine Works. Today, the Fuso name is renowned in Asia and around the world, while MFTBC itself is part of DaimlerChrysler’s Truck Group, the world’s largest commercial truck manufacturer. In the next 12 months, MFTBC will observe the brand name’s anniversary at various events and activities, including the Tokyo Motor Show.Harald Boelstler, MFTBC President & CEO, said: “Mitsubishi Fuso looks back with pride on the last 75 years and with gratitude to customers. But the observance of the brand name’s anniversary is mostly about the future…the next 75 years for our customers.
“Looking ahead, Fuso intends to demonstrate its commitment to customers, dealers, distributors, employees, shareholders and society. Along the way, there will be exciting new chapters in the long history of Fuso.”
The Fuso brand name first appeared in 1932 in conjunction with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ first, so-called “B46” commercial bus. Seven meters long with a passenger capacity of 38 people, the B46 was powered by a 7-liter, 6-cylinder gasoline engine producing 100 horsepower.
To celebrate the delivery of the B46 bus to its first customer, what was then the Japan Ministry of Railroads, the company invited employees to submit suggestions for a nickname. “Fuso” was the winning candidate.
The word “Fuso” derives from an ancient Chinese term for a sacred tree said to grow at the spot in the East where the sun rises, and has been used to refer to Japan, itself. The actual Fuso tree is a hibiscus, known in Japanese as “bussoge,” and is an evergreen that grows to about 3 meters and sprouts beautiful red and pale pink flowers.
More and More Fuso Vehicles
Following that first bus, the Fuso name would later be applied to other leading products. Key vehicles in history of the company and brand include the KT1, a gasoline-engine 4-ton truck (1946); the T380, Japan’s first heavy-duty cab over truck (1959); and the Rosa, Japan’s first small size bus (1960).
In 1963, the first Canter was produced. The Mitsubishi Fuso Canter light-duty truck would become the company’s best-selling vehicle of all time, and maintains its excellent reputation today.
As Japan’s economic expansion continued, the company’s product line expanded to include a wide variety of light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Many of the trucks and buses traveling Japan’s highways and roads bore the Fuso name, and played an important role in the Japan’s burgeoning commerce and transportation. With expansion in the company’s overseas business, Fuso vehicles also were working around the world.
In recent years, products bearing the Fuso name include the Canter Eco Hybrid, one of the world’s cleanest light-duty trucks, now available in Japan, and the Aero Star Hybrid, an advanced hybrid electric bus. This is in addition to familiar “Fuso” products like the Canter light-duty truck, Fighter medium-duty truck, Super Great heavy-duty truck, Aero Star city bus and Aero Queen touring bus.
The Fuso name also adorns the company’s diesel engines for trucks, buses and industrial uses. And today, the name “Fuso” has been integrated into the official brand “Mitsubishi Fuso.”
In Japan, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and around the world, “Mitsubishi Fuso” stands for superior products, outstanding service, economic value and a commitment to keep customers’ businesses moving.
At the same time, MFTBC the company has become part of DaimlerChrysler’s Truck Group, the largest commercial truck maker in the world with 537,000 vehicles sold in 2006. In this regard, the Mitsubishi Fuso brand takes its place alongside Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner, two of the world’s leading truck brands.
Fuso in the Future
In the years ahead, Mitsubishi Fuso will design vehicles to set ever greater standards of safety and environmental performance, all the while delivering efficiency and value for customers around the world. An example is the Fuso Concept Vehicle, a demonstration of advanced heavy-duty truck technologies which has been displayed in Japan, Indonesia and elsewhere.
As the DaimlerChrysler Truck Group’s center for hybrid technology, the company will especially focus on making hybrid vehicles more efficient and economical. In general, the “Fuso” vehicles of the future will serve the needs of customers while maintaining harmony with society and the environment.75th
In the meantime, the company will observe the 75th anniversary of the Fuso brand name throughout the next year. Activities will include employee, dealer and customer events; distribution of 75th anniversary merchandise; Fuso history and future publications; and many other initiatives. It will also be a central theme during the company’s exhibition at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, Oct. 26-Nov. 11.
Mr. Boelstler added, “We are proud of our Fuso history, we are convinced of our strong future as part of DaimlerChrysler’s Truck Group, and we committed to be the No. 1 for our customers in the coming years. This is why we will actively communicate this proud legacy of the past and a strong commitment to the future.”