UD Trucks Corporation (UDトラックス株式会社) is a Japanese company whose principal business is the manufacture and sales of light, medium and heavy duty diesel trucks, buses, bus chassis and special-purpose vehicles. The company is owned 100% by the Volvo Group since 2007. Formerly known as Nissan Diesel, the company changed its name to UD Trucks on February 1, 2010. Already before the name change, the UD name was prominently displayed to separate the identity from that of their former owner Nissan Motors.
The UD name was originally used for the company's "Uniflow Scavenging Diesel" engine, developed in 1955, but is now marketed as meaning "Ultimate Dependability".
On February 15, 2010 it was announced that UD Trucks had taken over the import and sales of Volvo trucks in Japan, as a consequence of Volvo's ownership.
In 1935, Nihon Diesel Industries, Ltd, in Kawaguchi, Japan on the outskirts of Tokyo was established. The company started production of KD-series 2-cycle diesel engines. In 1940 production of 4.5-ton-payload TT6 series trucks started. 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 1949 development of 7.5-ton-payload TN93 series trucks started.
In 1950 the company name changed to Minsei Diesel Industries, Ltd.; 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 engines. 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, 110kW (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.
In 1960 the company name was changed again, this time to the 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 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.
In 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 Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
In 1982 there was the introduction of new forward-control cab for CWA52/45 series trucks, 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.
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 million vehicles since commencing production in May 1950. 1996 brought about the establishment of P.T. Astra Nissan Diesel Indonesia, a joint venture company with Marubeni Corporation and P.T. Astra International, and the Dongfeng Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Ltd, a joint venture company with Sumitomo Corporation and Dongfeng Motor Corporation.
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 and is now a subsidiary. After the transaction between Nissan Motor and Volvo, Nissan Diesel's business relation with Nissan Motors continued as normal and the Nissan Diesel & UD brand names are unchanged. AB Volvo also acquired the truck division of Renault in 2001.
Starting from 2007, 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. In August 2009 Nissan Diesel and Mitsubishi Fuso announced a plan of further co-operation of bus manufacturing, including the establishment of a joint company for the bus business, but on 29 October 2010 both companies announced that they had discontinued the discussions concerning this issue, and the OEM supply agreement would also be ended.
Nissan Diesel has changed its name to UD Trucks in 1 February 2010.
Another Japanese range to gain exceptional popularity in Australia was the Nissan UD range, first introduced into Australia in 1973 with the CK range and the CW4O, CW45, CW5 1 models taking the medium truck market by storm in the l970s and ‘80s. The 10,000th UD, a CPC14, was sold in Australia in 1992 as part of a 40-vehicle order by Quality Bakers Australia Limited. The quality control and efficiency of the Japanese makes them the most popular of all small to medium ranges in Australia today with approximately seven out of every 10 vehicles in this range sold being of Japanese origin.
Nissan Motor Company Ltd (Japanese: 日産自動車株式会社 Nissan Jidōsha Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 7201), usually shortened to Nissan ( /ˈniːsɑːn/ or UK /ˈnɪsæn/; Japanese: [nisːaɴ]), is a multinational automaker headquartered in Japan. It was a core member of the Nissan Group, but has become more independent after its restructuring under Carlos Ghosn (CEO).
It formerly marketed vehicles under the "Datsun" brand name and is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. As of 2011, the company's global headquarters is located in Nishi-ku, Yokohama. In 1999, Nissan entered a two way alliance with Renault S.A. of France, which owns 43.4% of Nissan while Nissan holds 15% of Renault shares, as of 2008. The current market share of Nissan, along with Honda and Toyota, in American auto sales represent the largest of the automotive firms based in Asia that have been increasingly encroaching on the historically dominant US-based "Big Three" consisting of General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler. In its home market, Nissan became the second largest car manufacturer in 2011, surpassing Honda with Toyota still very much the dominant first. Along with its normal range of models, Nissan also produces a range of luxury models branded as Infiniti.
The Nissan VQ engines, of V6 configuration, have been featured among Ward's 10 Best Engines for 14 straight years.