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150,000th Fuso Canter

  27.10.2008    

On October 24 the 150,000th Fuso Canter came off the production line in Tramagal in the presence of Portuguese Prime Minister José Socrates and Andreas Renschler, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Daimler Trucks. Originally produced in 1963, the Canter is now in its seventh generation and Fuso’s best-selling truck. Production of Mitsubishi products in Portugal commenced in 1980 at the Tramagal plant, which is located 150 kilometers northeast of Lisbon. Since 1996, the Tramagal site has been devoted exclusively to production of the light-duty Fuso Canter for the European market.
The success story of the Fuso Canter in Europe will continue in years to come: the steadily growing success of Fuso in Europe, the expansion of sales from Portugal to Europe as a whole, and the flexible adaptation to changing market conditions are evidence of the importance of the Tramagal site and the security of future production there. Andreas Renschler says: “The Canter is a success in Europe, which is why we’re also going to build the successor to the current Fuso Canter in Tramagal. To that end, we’re going to invest approximately €20 million in the development of the product and the location.” A total of almost €100 million has been invested in the plant since 1980.
Andreas Renschler also highlighted the importance of the site for Daimler Trucks: “The production of the 150,000th Canter in Tramagal is a milestone for Daimler Trucks. And not only because Fuso is pursuing two of our primary objectives: that our truck business continues to grow, of course, and that it also become even greener.” With the Canter, Renschler adds, Fuso is taking on the important role of augmenting the product range of Daimler Trucks with light-duty vehicles.
Jorge Rosa, manager of the Tramagal plant of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe (MFTE), says: “We’ve been building the Canter at this site for almost 30 years, with steadily increasing production figures. In 1980, we built only 2,000 Fuso Canters; in 2007 it was over 10,000.” Rosa adds: “Every day our Canters leave this plant and go to over 30 countries in Europe. From Tramagal to Europe — that’s our motto!” MFTE will donate the 150,000th Fuso Canter to the fire department of Abrantes, Portugal.
In 2007, over 450 employees produced more than 10,000 Fuso Canters in Tramagal. Last year, Fuso Europe posted a 9.9% increase in sales of the Canter series to a total of 10,200 units (2006: 9,300), thereby setting a sales record for Canters in Europe. As of September 2008, MFTE had sold 8,300 (+13.0%) of the delivery trucks in Europe.
The plant in Tramagal was originally opened in 1964 by a Portuguese-French joint venture for the production of military aircraft for the Portuguese military. Mitsubishi commercial vehicles were first built in the District of Santarém in 1980. Ten years later, the Portuguese importer Mitsubishi Motors Portugal (MMP) took over the plant and made substantial investments. In 1996, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation decided to concentrate Canter production for Europe in Tramagal. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe has been building the Canter light truck in Tramagal since 2004. In the same year, the Tramagal production facility received its current name of “Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europa S.A.”
The Fuso Canter’s most important sales markets to date are France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Germany and Portugal. Mitsubishi Fuso has expanded its presence in Eastern Europe in 2008 by launching the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter truck in Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro. As a result, the company now has a comprehensive sales network covering 33 countries in Europe. The Tramagal plant exports approximately 90% of its annual output.
In August, Daimler launched Europe’s largest fleet test with hybrid trucks by presenting ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids to eight customers. The goals of the three-year test are to gain new insights into the use of the 7.5-ton hybrid trucks by customers and to demonstrate the diesel-electric hybrid drive’s high level of efficiency. The Fuso Canter Hybrid consumes up to 15% less fuel than conventional diesel vehicles, and the hybrid truck’s CO2 emissions are therefore decreased correspondingly as well.


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