Firms’ technological alliance emerges from years of rivalry
Hino and Volkswagen have teamed up to form a strategic alliance for logistics and new technologies
This will come as a huge surprise to many, but two of the biggest rivals in the automotive industry are teaming up — Hino and Volkswagen (VW). It’s not a merger or anything like that, but rather what they call an agreement aiming to build a mutually beneficial strategic long-term partnership.
Collaboration between the two is actually nothing new. VW brand Scania has been distributing Hino trucks in South Korea since 2002 and both companies have been working on engine technology together. In addition, some Scania models have been sold in Japan under the Hino brand name.
Now both companies say they will further explore each other’s capabilities to co-operate in logistics and traffic solution research, existing and new technologies and in procurement.
The evaluation of technology co-operation will focus on conventional powertrains, hybrid and electric powertrains, as well as connectivity and autonomous driving systems. Both companies say they aim to enhance their respective market positions in the global transportation business and will jointly develop innovative technologies.
A joint alliance board has been set up to discuss the direction of the partnership. This will pursue a pragmatic approach with a lean organisation and balanced rights for both companies that remain independent.
Among other things, the board will explore and evaluate co-operation in existing technologies such as whether there is room for jointly utilising conventional powertrains, to offer better products for customers. Furthermore, it will also evaluate initiatives for future transportation technologies.
"This agreement was made possible because Hino Motors and Volkswagen Truck and Bus respect each other and share the same aspiration to offer customers the highest value," says Yoshio Shimo, president and CEO of Hino Motors.
"Hino Motors invented the company slogan ‘Trucks and Buses that do more’. To do justice to that, Hino Motors will pursue regional business co-operation and joint utilisation of technologies with Volkswagen Truck and Bus to offer customers better products and ultimately 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."
Andreas Renschler, member of the board of management of Volkswagen and CEO of Volkswagen Truck and Bus, says: "We are delighted to enter into the SCFA with Hino Motors as we are teaming up with one of the leading truck and bus companies, whose presence is especially strong in Asia. It is an excellent fit in terms of regional footprints and products, but also concerning common ideas on how to shape the future of transportation together.
"The co-operation with Hino Motors will also contribute to our strategy to become global champion in the transportation industry by providing the highest value to our customers."
By joining forces in a strategic partnership, the two companies say they will be able to expand their respective global footprints and get into a superior position to tackle the challenges of the industry. Hino has a strong presence in Asian and Japanese markets and provides products to more than 80 countries.
Volkswagen Truck and Bus features leading market positions in Europe and Brazil through its brands MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and Rio. The company has also established partnerships with Navistar in North America and Sinotruk in China.