Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe’s Tramagal (MFTE) Plant
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary
||MFTE: Central production location of the FUSO Canter in Europe
||Investments of €27 million from 2011 to 2014
||FUSO Canter: the best-selling truck in the Daimler Trucks product range
Kawasaki, Japan - Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, today announced its Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe-sociedade Europeia De Automoveis Sa (MFTE) is commemorating its eventful 50-year history, during which it has produced more than 200,000 vehicles to date. Today the plant is Europe’s central production location for the globally popular Canter light-duty truck. In a ceremony attended by representatives of Daimler AG, MFTBC, and MFTE, Mr. Pedro Passos Coleho, the Prime Minister of Portugal, marked the 50th anniversary of the Tramagal plant and honored the facility as the central production location for the international best-seller FUSO Canter in Europe.
“The Tramagal plant is an outstanding example of Daimler Trucks’ international footprint. The Portuguese colleagues cooperate very closely with their partner plants in Japan and India. This exemplifies the successful cooperation between Europe and Asia,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses, on the occasion of the anniversary.
“For decades, the employees at MFTE have shown continued commitment to the plant. The production of our global flagship model – the FUSO Canter - is in good hands,” said Dr. Albert Kirchmann, MFTBC President & CEO and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia. “They deserve our thanks and recognition for this impressive performance. We are a company with additional potential, many ideas, and passionate employees, and great history are made by great people. I am looking forward to building our next 50, building quality trucks for our customers in Europe.”
Mr. Jorge Rosa, Head of the Tramagal plant, joined by Dr. Bernhard and Dr. Kirchmann, also commemorated the anniversary by presenting a Canter to the non-profit organization CRIA, which helps disadvantaged children and families in Portugal.
MFTE’s Tramagal plant in Portugal celebrating its 50th anniversary
Investments in the facility and the product
MFTE’s Tramagal plant is located about 150 kilometers northeast of Lisbon and extends over a surface of 39,900 square meters. Its more than 300 employees deliver FUSO Canter trucks to around 30 European countries and Israel. In the course of the year, Morocco will expand the list of export markets. Already today, almost 95 percent of the vehicles are exported. The key sales markets are Germany, the UK, and France. While especially the South European markets went through a volatile economic development over the past years, sales of the Canter in Europe last year rose to around 4,500 units. Availability of the new Canter with a gross vehicle weight of 8.55 tons will lead the brand to a further sales increase in Europe this year.
To prepare the plant for the future, Daimler Trucks has invested a total of roughly €27 million from 2011 to 2014 included, dedicated to the modernization of production operations and the further development of the FUSO Canter in Tramagal. Some €5.5 million out of this sum will be spent this year on new equipment and the development of the battery-electric ‘Zero-Emission’ Canter E-CELL. The Portuguese government is also supporting these measures with €3 million.
“The Portuguese government has implemented the right measures to return its economy on a path of growth. At times, the government has had to surmount resistance from many sides and made significant progress in balancing its trade and fiscal deficits. We want to be an active supporter of these huge efforts to boost the economy and therefore keep investing in our plant,” said Dr. Bernhard. “The investments also show that we are very proud of the success model FUSO Canter — especially because it reinforces Daimler Trucks’ technological lead in the area of alternative drives.”
Since 2012, Portugal has also produced the FUSO Canter Eco Hybrid, the hybrid version of the truck. This fuel-saving light-duty truck has won several international awards already, including the renowned award “Irish Green Commercial of the Year 2013.” In addition, the hybrid truck received the “European Transport Sustainability Prize 2014.”
Canter light-duty truck in production at MFTE
Canter light-duty truck: Daimler Trucks’ international best seller
The FUSO Canter light-duty truck is the best-selling vehicle in Daimler Trucks’ entire product range. Last year, almost 140,000 customers around the globe purchased this robust and economical best-seller. A stunning 3.8 million units have been sold since the vehicle was first presented in 1963, and the truck is now in its eighth generation.
The Tramagal facility is incorporated into Daimler Trucks’ global production network to enable the plant to meet the internationally valid quality standards for the FUSO Canter and exploit the advantages of collaboration. The Kawasaki plant primarily supplies the body panels, the axle parts, the steering system, the heating and climate-control systems, and the DUONIC® dual-clutch transmission, as well as the electric drive components of the Canter Eco Hybrid. The Tramagal plant also benefits the local economy. In terms of monetary value, around 50 percent of the Canter’s parts are provided by 60 European suppliers, half of which are based in Portugal and Spain. These parts include the chassis, the engine, the axle components, the springs, the brakes, the tires, the headlights, the seats, and much of the interior trim.
MFTE’s Tramagal plant with an eventful history
The Tramagal plant has had an eventful history. It was founded in 1964 as a joint venture of the family-run Portuguese firm Duarte Ferreira and the former French truck manufacturer Berliet. The plant began with CKD assembly (completely knocked down) for Mitsubishi Fuso in 1980. In the following years, the Tramagal plant assembled the FUSO Canter light-duty truck for the Portuguese market, as well as the medium-duty Fighter truck, the Mitsubishi L 200 pickup truck, the L 300 van, and the Pajero SUV. Ten years later, the business was acquired by the Portuguese import company Mitsubishi Motors Portugal (MMP). In 1996, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation took over the plant and decided to focus production on the FUSO Canter. It became part of Daimler AG in 2004 after the automaker acquired the majority share of Mitsubishi Fuso.
50 years of the Tramagal plant — the milestones at a glance
||CKD assembly of the French Berliet truck begins
||Cooperation with Mitsubishi Fuso begins; CKD assembly of SUVs, vans, pickup trucks, and the FUSO Canter light-duty truck
||The plant is acquired by the Portuguese import company Mitsubishi Motors Portugal (MMP)
||The plant is acquired by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; assembly operations are concentrated on the FUSO Canter
||Daimler AG acquires the majority share of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation
||Launch of the current eighth generation of the FUSO Canter
||Series production of the FUSO Canter Eco Hybrid begins
||Launch of the new FUSO Canter Euro VI, including the new version with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 8.55 t
Based in Kawasaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) is one of Asia's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. In 2013, the company sold a total of about 172,400 vehicles including light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Daimler AG owns 89.29% of MFTBC shares and various Mitsubishi group companies own 10.71% of MFTBC shares. MFTBC is an integral part of the Daimler Trucks Division of Daimler AG.
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