UD Trucks celebrates its 80th anniversary - Reaffirms Commitment to Logistics Industry

UD Trucks celebrates the 80th anniversary of its foundation this year. Since its foundation in 1935, UD Trucks has supported logistics systems in Japan and around the world, always conscious of the transport industry’s key role in helping build up social infrastructure.

The company has supported growth in Japan and other countries, answering logistics needs by taking the lead in introducing the best solutions using cutting-edge technologies of the time.

Founder Kenzo Adachi believed that trucks must be durable, fuel efficient, offer high uptime and ample loading capacity. Over the past 80 years, UD Trucks has provided products that meet these criteria, while also reducing the total cost of our customer’s ownership.

“All of us at UD Trucks, from product development to manufacturing and sales, have been united in applying our founder’s passion for trucks. Moving forward, we will work hard to become the truck brand that our customers most want to partner with,” said UD Trucks president, Yoshihiro Murakami.

With the brand promise of “Going the Extra Mile“, UD Trucks offers products with a high level of fuel efficiency, uptime, reliability, durability, drivability, while meeting today’s demanding safety and environmental standards with modern technology.

To celebrate UD Trucks 80th anniversary, a brand new UD Experience Center will be opened in May and its new headquarters building will be completed in July, both at the main factory site in Ageo, Japan. Always providing the best solutions to transportation challenges, UD Trucks will continue to support the development of the logistics industry and contribute to the economic growth of Japan and the other countries it operates in for the next 80 years.

Please see the video of UD Trucks’ 80th history here.

80 Years of UD Trucks

Epoch-making 3,000km test run
Kenzo Adachi founded Nihon Diesel Industries (later UD Trucks) in December 1935. The company developed the first Japanese-made diesel truck engine in 1938, followed by the first Japanese-made diesel truck, LD1, in November 1939. Dedicated to ensuring ultimate dependability, Adachi himself took the LD1 on a legendary test drive of 3,000km in the same year. Although Japan’s roads at the time were unpaved and the country was full of narrow roads and bridges, not a single bolt came loose and not a single spring broke on the LD1 on its journey.

Birth of the original UD engines
At the start of the 1950s, construction of infrastructure that included power sources, roads, railways, ports and large-scale plants led to rising demand for large, high-horsepower trucks. In January 1955, two new diesel UD engines were released: the three-cylinder 110-horse-power UD3 and the four-cylinder 150-horsepower UD4. The six-cylinder 230-horsepower UD6, launched in June, was the most powerful in Japan, and acclaimed as the lightest engine per horsepower in the world at the time. The engines used pioneering ‘uniflow scavenging diesel engine’ technology – abbreviated “UD” – and the UD name and symbol has been on all engines and trucks the company has released ever since.

Introduction of the popular 6TW truck
The 6TW, launched in 1958, contributed to infrastructure development, during rapid economic growth. The truck was used in the construction of Kurobe Dam, a famously challenging dam to build. With the 1964 Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, 6TW also played an important role in construction of infrastructure that ran from high-speed expressways to the bullet train, and high-rise hotels. The T80 2-axle export version also became a popular workhorse in Asia and around the world.

Debut of medium-duty truck Condor
In the 70s, there was a shift from the mass production of single products to high-mix, low-volume production and the expansion of cold chain logistics for transporting fresh products and frozen foods in the food distribution industry. Consequently, there was greater demand for medium-duty trucks capable of economical and efficient transportation over short and medium haul. Condor, launched in 1975, met those needs, and the model has developed over the years and went through a full model change in 2011.

New UD Trucks
As a means of unifying its identity as a global brand with a worldwide presence and as one of the leading brands in the Volvo Group, in 2010 the company name was changed from Nissan Diesel to UD Trucks Corporation along with adopting UD Trucks as its unified brand name.

The introduction of “Quester” for growth markets in Asia and around the world
In 2013 UD Trucks launched “Quester” – the first Japanese truck developed uniquely for growth markets, in Asia and around the world. With excellent fuel efficiency, reliability and durability it provides modern, affordable efficiency for modernizing and professional customers in these markets. Quester is a truck made to go the extra mile.

Renewal of the flagship heavy-duty truck “Quon”
Flagship heavy-duty truck “Quon” was renewed in 2014. As a heavy duty full-service, reliable, fuel-efficient truck with high uptime and loading capacity, Quon helps address challenges facing the logistics industry, including increasing fuel costs, shortage and aging population of qualified drivers and stricter regulations on working hours.
UD Trucks continues going the extra mile to provide our customers with ultimate dependability for the next 80 years.

For further information, please contact
Media Relations, Etsuko Kurihashi, etsuko.kurihashi@volvo.com
For more stories from UD Trucks, please visit http://www.udtrucks.com/

UD Trucks is a total transport solution provider dedicated to delivering optimized total cost of ownership to its customers. It sells and serves light, medium and heavy duty trucks as well as special vehicles. UD Trucks was established in Japan in 1935 and became part of the Volvo Group in 2007. With its headquarters located in Ageo, Japan, UD Trucks supports sales and services in more than 60 countries through a worldwide network.