UD Trucks

UD Trucks Corporation (UDトラックス株式会社, UD Torakkusu Kabushikigaisha) is a Japanese company whose principal business is the manufacturing and sales of diesel trucks, buses, bus chassis and special-purpose vehicles. Its headquarters are located in Ageo, Saitama, Japan. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Isuzu Motors since 2021.[2] Until 2010, the company was known as Nissan Diesel.

UD Trucks Corporation
Native name
UD Torakkusu Kabushiki-gaisha
  • Nissan Diesel
FoundedDecember 1, 1935; 85 years ago (1935-12-01)
Key people
  • New-Mech Co.,Ltd
  • VFS Japan Co., Ltd
Nissan Diesel 6TW12

The UD name was originally used for the company's Uniflow Diesel Engine (a two-stroke diesel engine), developed in 1955, but is now marketed as meaning "Ultimate Dependability".[3]



In December 1935, Nihon Diesel Industries, Ltd, in Kawaguchi, Japan on the outskirts of Tokyo was established under the leadership of Kenzo Adachi, where he purchased diesel engine schematics from a Krupp-Junkers patent. The company started production of KD-series 2-cycle diesel engines after entering into partnership and technology exchange with Friedrich Krupp AG.[4] In November 1939, to test the durability of the LD1 truck, the company went on a 3,000 km (1,864.1 mi) test drive across Japan. The drive went to the villages of Hakone, Osaka, Kyoto, Gero, Ikaho, Niigata and Aizu before returning to Kawaguchi. The route was on very primitive mountain roads and very rural conditions. The truck returned 13 days later on November 20 without incurring any failure, and soon the trucks reliability became known.[5] In 1940 production of 4.5-ton-payload TT6 series trucks started, and in 1942 the company was now known as Kanega-Fuchi Diesel Co., Ltd. In development of 7.5-ton-payload TN93 series trucks, featuring the largest payload capacity in the Japanese market, and the nation's first monocoque-type BR3 series buses with rear-mounted engines. In 1946 the company name changed to Minsei Industries, Ltd. In 1949 development of 7.5-ton-payload TN93 series trucks started.


In 1950 Minsei Diesel Industries, Ltd. was spun off from Minsei Industries; and the company was on the way to becoming a comprehensive transport equipment manufacturer. In 1955 the UD name was born, when Minsei Diesel Industries introduced a range uniflow-scavenging 2-cycle diesel engine. Of course, the UD stood for "Uniflow Diesel", named after the engine they had invented for use in their trucks. The production of various trucks and buses with 81 kW (110 PS) UD3, 110 kW (150 PS) UD4 and 169 kW (230 PS) UD6 engines began. In 1957 the development of Japan's first RFA series air-suspension buses and 10-ton-payload 6TW10 series trucks called "Jumbo" in overseas markets began.


Nissan Diesel 780

In 1960, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. acquired Minsei Diesel, and was renamed Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Ltd. Forward-control trucks and truck tractors were also introduced. In 1963, there was the initial production of compact 4-cycle 40 kW (55PS) SD20 and 44 kW (60PS) SD22 diesel engines. 70 to 80-ton crane-carrier truck series were also introduced to the line-up. 1969 saw the introduction of 4-cycle 136 kW (185PS) PD6 and 99 kW (135 PS) ND6 diesel engines for heavy-duty vehicles. Diesel products were sold in Japan at a separate dealership sales channel called Nissan Diesel. In 1969, the 780-series replaced the 680-series bonneted truck.


In 1971 the heavy Nissan Diesel C-series arrived, being replaced by the second generation in 1979. 1972 saw the marketing of V-type 206 kW (280 PS) RD8 and 257 kW (350 PS) RD10 diesel engines. In 1973, light-duty trucks were produced for the Nissan Motor Company.



In 1982 there was the introduction of new forward-control cab for the CWA52/45 series trucks (sold as the Nissan Diesel Resona in Japan), CKA-T series truck tractors and ultra-modern U(A)21, U(A)31, RA51 series buses. As of 1985 the company had a wide range of light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, as well as buses and special-purpose vehicles such as crane carriers. In 1989 there was an agreement with IVECO of Italy to jointly develop low-pollution diesel engines.


Jonckheere Monaco

In 1992 Nissan Diesel Philippines Corp. started manufacturing deluxe coaches in cooperation with Jonckheere Bus & Coach NV/SA of Belgium. In 1995 Nissan Diesel produced its two millionth vehicles since commencing production in May 1950. 1996 brought about the establishment of PT Astra Nissan Diesel Indonesia, a joint venture company with Marubeni Corporation and Astra International, and the Dongfeng Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Ltd, a joint venture company with Sumitomo Corporation and Dongfeng Motor Corporation.


Space Runner A

In 2000 Nissan Diesel introduced new heavy-duty trucks in Japan and Asian countries. It also acquired the sales operation from Nissan Diesel Sales Co., Ltd. In 2003, Nissan Motor and Nissan Diesel reached a basic agreement on a light-duty truck joint venture. There was also the signing of development assistance contract for air suspension of buses with China's Dongfeng Motor Corporation.

Nissan Diesel was purchased by the Volvo Group in 2007, becoming a subsidiary. After the transaction between Nissan Motor and Volvo, Nissan Diesel's business relations with Nissan Motors continued as normal and the Nissan Diesel and UD brand names remained unchanged. Volvo also acquired the truck division of Renault in 2001.

Starting from 2007, the OEM supply agreement between Nissan Diesel and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation became effective, with both companies supplying engines to each other for use in new buses, and supplying some buses to each other with the partner's badge.


A Volvo UD bus on trial runs in Bangalore, India

On 1 February 2010, Nissan Diesel changed its name to UD Trucks. At the same time Nissan Diesel Trucks Japan, a 100% owned sales company of UD Trucks in Japan, changed its name to UD Trucks Japan.[citation needed]

On September 12, 2012, UD Trucks of North America announced that it will no longer be part of the North American truck market. Reasons given for this decision was a combination of factors, including the continued shrinking of the cab-over-engine market segment and the accelerating cost of regulatory compliance.[6]

In 2013, UD Trucks launched the UD Quester at Bangkok, a new heavy-duty truck for developing countries.

In 2014, UD Trucks merged with UD Trucks Japan.[citation needed] That same year, Volvo's Volvo Buses started to market UD buses in India.[7] The first model for that market, the UD SLF, was introduced in 2015.[8]

In 2015, UD Trucks renewed its headquarters building in Ageo.

In 2016, UD Trucks started selling the Kazet, a new light-duty for the Japanese market that is supplied by Mitsubishi Fuso. In December of that year, it sold its stake in Dongvo (previously Dongfeng Nissan Diesel), a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group, which was renamed as Dongfeng Nengdi.[9]

In 2017, UD Trucks launched new versions of the Quon and Condor trucks. The Condor, a medium-duty truck, is supplied by Isuzu as part of an OEM agreement, mainly for the Japanese market. The company also launched a new Croner and the light-duty Kuzer, both aimed at developing countries.

In December 2019 Volvo signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to form a strategic alliance with Isuzu. As part of the agreement, Volvo plans to eventually transfer UD Trucks to Isuzu. In October 2020, the sale agreement became binding.[10]

In April 2021, Isuzu Motors became the owner of UD Trucks, completing the sale with Volvo.[2]


UD Trucks are marketed in over 60 countries. Some of the main markets are Japan, South Africa, Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

UD Trucks Southern Africa's head office and assembly plant is in Rosslyn, Gauteng and includes a competency development centre. There are 36 UD Trucks dealers and service agents in South Africa and another 30 in other southern African countries, including Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.




Former truck models:


Nissan Diesel JA450SSN in Santarosa Euro bus body.
Space Runner RA

UD Trucks ceased its Japanese bus production in 2011,[16] but in 2014 launched a new series of UD Buses for the Indian market.[17]

  • SLF - Heavy Duty Bus
  • BRT - Heavy Duty Bus
  • Coach - Heavy Duty Coach

Former bus models:

Former Bus Models (Philippines)

Front Engine Bus

  • CMF87L
  • CPB87N
  • LKA211N
  • NU41B
  • SP210P
  • SP215NSB
  • PKB212N

Rear Engine Bus

- RE10S

  • RB31S/X
  • RB46S/X
  • JA430SAN
  • JA450SSN
  • JP251PSN
  • JA520SAN


  1. ^ "Press release".
  2. ^ a b "Isuzu press release". Isuzu. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  3. ^ "Brand name". UD Trucks. Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  4. ^ "1935 - Founding of the company by Kenzo Adachi". UD Trucks. Volvo Group. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  5. ^ "The legendary 3,000 km (1,864.1 mi) test drive". UD Trucks. Volvo Group. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  6. ^ Ramsey, Jonathon (2012-09-23). "UD commercial trucks to vacate North American market". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
  8. ^ Reporter, B. S. (21 June 2015). "BMTC begins trials of Volvo's UD city bus" – via Business Standard.
  9. ^ "经营历程" [Business history] (in Chinese). Dongfeng Nengdi. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  10. ^ "Volvo Group and Isuzu Motors sign final agreements to form strategic alliance" (Press release). Volvo. 30 October 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ [5]
  16. ^ "UDトラックス、バス事業撤退 希望退職700人募る".
  17. ^ 'Volvo launches UD Buses in India' on Business Standard website, viewed 2014-03-25

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