UD Trucks Corporation commonly known as UD Trucks is a Japanese-based automobile company involved in the manufacturing of light, medium and heavy duty diesel trucks, buses, bus chassis as well as special-purpose vehicles. In 2007, Volvo Group took over the UD Trucks operations completely. The company was previously known as Nissan Diesel which was renamed to UD Trucks on February 1, 2010. However, the tag UD was used well before it acquired this name formally at later time.
The term UD is in fact taken from the company’s ‘Uniflow Scavenging Diesel’ built in 1955. However, at present, the term UD means ‘Ultimate Dependability’.
According to an announcement made on February 15, 2010, the UD Trucks had taken over the import and sales of Volvo trucks in Japan.
Nihon Diesel Industries Ltd was established in Kawaguchi, Japan in 1935 and straight way began the production of KD-series 2-cycle diesel engines. The 4.5-ton-playload TT6 series trucks were introduced in 1940 while the 7.5-ton-playload TN93 series trucks went into the production in 1949.
The company was renamed to Minsei Diesel Industries Ltd in 1950 and known as one of the largest transport equipment manufacturer. The company invented a new range of uniflow-scavenging 2-cycle diesel engines in 1955 as a result of which the term UD used as an acronym for ‘Uniflow Diesel’ was popularized. In addition to this, company manufactured variety of engines for trucks and buses including 81 kW (110 PS) UD3, 110kW (150 PS) UD4 and 169 kW (230 PS) UD6. The company formed the Japan’s first RFA series air-suspension buses and also 10-ton-playload 6TW10 series of trucks named ‘Jumbo’ as well.
The company was once again renamed in 1960 as Nissan Diesel Company Ltd. At that time, the company began the production of forward-control trucks and truck tractors. In the 1963, the company started producing compact 4-cycle 40kW (55PS) SD20 and 44kW (60PS) SD22 diesel engines. Also, 70 to 80-ton crane-carrier truck series appeared on the scenes. By 1969, company was involved in manufacturing 4-cycle 136 kW (185PS) PD6 and 99 kW (135PS) ND6 diesel engine.
The company started producing V-type 206 kW (280 PS) RD8 and 257 kW (350 PS) RD10 diesel engines in 1972 while light-duty trucks were produced for Nissan Motor Co. Ltd in 1973. During i980s, company produced 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. An agreement was signed between the company and IVECO Italy to collaboratively build low-pollution diesel engines.
In the year 1992, Nissan Diesel Philippines began producing deluxe coaches in cooperation with jonckheere vehicles Bus & Coach NV/SA of Belgium. In 1996, a joint venture of Marubeni Corporation, P.T. Astra International and the Dongfeng Nissan Diesel Motor Company Ltd resulted in the formation of P.T. Astra Nissan Diesel Indonesia.
New lineup of heavy-duty trucks were introduced in the local as well as Asian markets in 2000 by Nissan Diesel. Later in 2003, both Nissan Motor and Nissan Diesel decided to produce light-duty trucks as joint venture.
On February 1, 2010, the name Nissan Diesel was changed to UD Trucks.