Nissan Diesel and Volvo Jointly to Develop Medium-Duty Trucks and to Study Hybrid Systems and Alternative Fuels

Nissan Diesel and AB Volvo will jointly develop medium-duty trucks for worldwide sales. The joint effort expects to combine the Japanese truckmaker¡¯s strength in smaller trucks with the Swedish expertise in manufacturing heavy-duty models.

The companies will also conduct a joint study on advanced technologies such as hybrid engines, alternative fuels and emissions treatments. The two companies propose to co-develop engines and electronic systems, and collaborate in Asian production.

Earlier this year, the Volvo Group unveiled a prototype hybrid system for heavy-duty vehicles (buses and trucks) which promises fuel savings of up to 35%, depending upon usage. The company is targeting series production of the hybrid vehicles by 2009. (Earlier post.)

Both Nissan Diesel and Volvo have developed compression-ignition engine trucks fueled by dimethyl ether (DME). Each also has well-developed SCR systems for emissions reduction. (Earlier post.)

Nissan Diesel also intends to introduce Volvo¡¯s modular concept for increased efficiency in development.

The announcement came during the presentation in Tokyo today of Nissan Diesel¡¯s six-month results. Since the Volvo Group increased its ownership in Nissan Diesel to 19% at the end of September this year work to identify coordination possibilities has been intensified. AT the same time, Volvo acquired all 57.5 million preference shares in Nissan Diesel. The preference shares will be converted in installments and already on April 1, 2008, Volvo¡¯s ownership interest in Nissan Diesel will amount to 41.9%. After full conversion in 2014, Volvo¡¯s total ownership of votes and capital will amount to 46.5%.

The two companies estimate that within five years, the coordination gains between the Volvo Group and Nissan Diesel will total about €200 million annually (US$256 million). More than half of the expected total coordination benefits will occur within Nissan Diesel and the remainder within the Volvo Group.

source:Green Car Congress