Germany’s Volkswagen Truck & Bus and Hino Motors of Japan, the Toyota division that makes trucks, buses and light commercial vehicles, have signed an agreement to cooperate in a range of fields including procurement, technology, logistics and transport.
The companies are looking to work together on procuring products and non-product related material, and new technologies of most interest to them are powertrains for hybrid and battery electric commercial vehicles, and technology for connected vehicles.
Hino’s president and CEO, Yoshio Shimo, said his company would pursue regional business cooperation and joint utilisation of technologies with Volkswagen Truck & Bus to offer customers better products and what he described as “customised total support”.
“It will also be a strong tie-up at times of new challenges in the field of transportation due to the rapid growth of e-commerce,” he added.
By joining forces, the companies argue, they will each be able to expand their respective global footprints and move ahead in tackling the industry’s challenges.
Speaking on that theme at a joint press conference announcing the partnership, Shimo said: “The rapid expansion of e-commerce and other businesses has created a shortage of drivers. At the same time, we are also seeing an aging of drivers.
Following on from that point, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus Andreas Renschler, commented: “Our customers have to earn their living with our products, meaning that our trucks and buses are a vital factor in their value-creation process. And this is precisely what we are aiming to continue improving together in the interest of our customers.”
As part of what is dubbed a strategic cooperation framework agreement, the companies have set up a joint alliance board to discuss how the partnership will develop, adopting a pragmatic approach with a lean organisation and equal rights. The companies will remain independent in what they describe as an eye-level partnership.
At the press conference, Shimo also said the board would be charged with forecasting shifts in future logistics, traffic and business systems, as well as conducting feasibility studies into potential future collaboration.