Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (Headquarters: Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, President and CEO: Karl Deppen, hereafter “MFTBC”) announces its celebration of the FUSO brand’s 90th anniversary in May 2022.
The origin of the FUSO name dates back to May 1932, when Mitsubishi’s first gasoline bus, the “B46 type shared car”, manufactured at the Kobe Shipyard of the former Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, was branded “FUSO”. The vehicle’s name, selected among proposals from employees at the company, was suggested by an engineer at the shipyard. The proposal argued for FUSO because the name is (1) “suitable to represent Japan,” (2) a “simple Japanese name that symbolizes Japan and Mitsubishi,” and has (3) “a smooth and familiar sound, which gives a clear image and stays in one’s mind.” The word “Fuso” originally refers to a large sacred tree that was once said to be in the place of the sunrise in China. The word is now used as a name for the hibiscus flower. It is also said that it was used as a synonym for Japan in ancient China.
Previous to this anniversary, FUSO set “Future Together” as its new brand tagline in 2021. Under this tagline, FUSO aims to lead the transformation of commercial vehicles together with our customers in the automobile industry, which is facing a historic turning point. “Future Together” also communicates ambitions for a future with safer and more sustainable transportation solutions.
In 1932, the “FUSO” name was used for the first time for the B46 bus manufactured at Kobe Shipyard of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (currently Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.). The 7-meter, 38-seater bus was equipped with a 7-liter, 6-cylinder and 100-horsepower gasoline engine. In commemoration of the first delivery of the B46 type bus to the Ministry of Railways, “FUSO” was selected from among the internal proposals for its nickname.
The first vehicle of B46 type bus named “FUSO”
History of the FUSO brand
Following the first vehicle, the nickname “FUSO” was used one after another for major products such as the gasoline engine 4-ton truck KT1 (1946), Japan’s first large cab over truck T380, and Japan’s first minibus, the Rosa (1960). In line with Japan’s high economic growth in 1950s – 70s, the product lineup includes a full range from small to large trucks and buses, playing an important part in economic development.
To the present and future of FUSO
MFTBC, the manufacturer of FUSO brand vehicles, was born when Mitsubishi Motors Corporation separated its commercial vehicle division from the passenger car business in 2003, while a part of former Daimler Chrysler. In the spring of 2006, MFTBC joined the truck group organized within Daimler Chrysler. It is now an integral part of Daimler Truck AG. FUSO now delivers trucks and buses to more than 170 countries and regions, supporting transportation and businesses not only in Japan but around the world. The light-duty “Canter” truck is highly regarded around the world and holds the top share in many countries. In 2017, FUSO launched Japan’s first mass-produced electric light-duty “eCanter” truck, leading the electrification of commercial vehicles. FUSO aims to continue as a beloved and trusted brand, developing products with “quality, environment, safety” as top priorities.
The FUSO brand’s product line-up for the Japanese market
MFTBC at a Glance
Based in Kawasaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) is one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, with 89.29% of its shares owned by Daimler Truck AG and 10.71% by various Mitsubishi group companies. An icon in the Japanese commercial vehicle industry with a longstanding history of 90 years with its FUSO brand, MFTBC manufactures a range of commercial vehicles including light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks and buses, and industrial engines for over 170 markets worldwide. In 2017, MFTBC introduced the eCanter, the first all-electric light-duty truck in series-production and in 2019, the Super Great – Japan’s first heavy-duty truck fitted with Level 2 Automated Driving Support Technology, a benchmark in the Japanese commercial vehicle market. MFTBC operates under the umbrella of Daimler Truck Asia, together with its partner organization Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) in India. This strategic unit allows the entities to collaborate on areas such as product development, parts sourcing and production to provide the best value to customers.
FUSO at a Glance
FUSO is a Daimler Truck brand, offering a range of commercial vehicles from light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks and buses, to industrial engines and connectivity solutions for over 170 markets worldwide. A longstanding landmark in Japan’s commercial vehicle landscape, the brand has leveraged Japanese quality and craftsmanship to set benchmarks in efficiency, safety, and comfort for 90 years. FUSO is particularly renowned for its offerings in the light-duty segment. The Canter light-duty truck claims the top market share in various markets around the world. In 2017 the eCanter became the first series produced all-electric light-duty truck in Japan, establishing FUSO as a pioneer in eMobility. FUSO promises customers a “Future Together,” a bold claim that continues to drive the brand’s contributions to safe and sustainable transport.