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The light-duty Canter truck celebrates its 60th anniversary


  • 60 years since the first Canter model was launched in 1963
  • Highly acclaimed in Japan and overseas, the Canter is sold in over 70 countries worldwide


Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (Headquarters: Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, President and CEO: Karl Deppen, hereafter “MFTBC”) is pleased to announce that the year 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the light-duty Canter truck.

The first generation Canter entered the light-duty truck segment for the first time in March 1963 as the T720 cab-over type model boasting a design providing a wide field of view and easy operability. Named the Canter to conjure the image of a sturdy but nimble horse, it was highly acclaimed as the best in its class for its excellent driving performance and economy. After the launch of the first-generation Canter, the Metropolitan Expressway opened in Japan in 1964, enabling high-speed transportation of cargo. Along with the development of roads, the development of high-speed trucks has progressed, long-distance transportation has become commonplace, and the use of high-output engines has spread, making it possible to transport large amounts of cargo at high speed. The Canter, which can turn in a small radius, has contributed to the efficiency of transportation in Japan by being used for transportation in a variety of ways.

Since the launch of the first generation model, the Canter has evolved alongside Japanese society through many eras, from the postwar reconstruction period, through the rapid economic growth that brought long-distance and high-speed transportation, to the changes of the 21st century that pushed ecological issues and carbon neutral transportation to the forefront. Throughout its 60-year history, the Canter has delivered every aspect required of a light-duty truck at a high level. On top of consistent performance and driver comfort, the Canter has achieved ever higher levels of fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness over the decades with continuous engine improvements and hybrid technology. Through the development of advanced safety technologies, MFTBC has sought to make the Canter a safe and reliable truck for drivers and others on the road. The design of the Canter has also evolved to match the needs of drivers and the shifting zeitgeist. Over the years, the Canter has managed to establish an immovable identity within the industry: a safe, comfortable, and environmentally friendly companion to drivers and businesses everywhere.

Since the 1960s, the Canter has expanded its sales around the world and has led the light-duty truck segment in the global market. In Indonesia, one of the first overseas FUSO markets, the truck has maintained the top market share in the light-duty segment for the past 48 years. Currently, knock-down production is carried out in 12 overseas markets.  In Indonesia, knock-down production has been carried out for the past 48 years, and in Taiwan, it has continued for 40. Furthermore, sales of the Canter have expanded into Africa, Central and South America, and the Middle East, with built-up vehicles being exported to over 60 countries around the world. Combining knock-down production locations and export markets, the Canter is now sold in over 70 countries around the world.

Throughout the truck’s long history, the Canter has represented the FUSO brand and MFTBC’s dedication to standing as a pioneering presence for customers, societies, and the transportation industry. Carrying on the legacy of the past decades, MFTBC launched Japan’s first series-produced electric light-duty truck, the eCanter, in the light-duty truck segment in 2017. With the fully remodeled next-generation model of the all-electric truck to be introduced to markets in 2023, MFTBC and the FUSO Canter will continue running on a path of innovation. 



History of the Canter

1963: The first generation Canter T720

A 2 ton cab-over truck equipped with a 68-horsepower high-performance compact diesel engine, combining robust performance and mobility with excellent fuel economy.


1968: The 2nd generation Canter T90 series

The second generation represented the first full model change, featuring greater loading efficiency and three types of dynamic power engines.


1973: The 3rd generation Canter T200 series

2.5 ton and 3 ton variants were added to the lineup, equipped with a diesel-powered 2,700 cc, 80 PS engine that demonstrated outstanding mobility in terms of maximum speed and hill climbing ability.


1978: The 4th generation Canter

A wide cab model was newly added to the lineup, featured with a spacious cabin, multi-use levers, and many other high-performance devices.


1985: The 5th generation Canter

A model equipped with a newly developed 130 PS turbo engine was launched, offering improved driving, safety, operability, and cabin comfort.


1993: The 6th generation Canter

Introduced to customers as a “good truck” for every need, this model gained popularity with its round cubic cab that excelled in aerodynamics.


2002: The 7th generation Canter

Fully remodeled in pursuit of world-class performance to enhance its value as the top brand of light-duty trucks in Japan and worldwide.


2006: Canter Eco Hybrid

The first-generation Canter Eco Hybrid, bringing fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions through unique hybrid technology, is launched.


2010: The 8th generation Canter

Fully remodeled with the world’s first* dual-clutch DUONIC® transmission in a truck. In addition, the vehicle included the newly developed 4P10 engine and Japan’s first* BlueTec® system to be featured in a light-duty truck.

* Information as of November 2010 at the time of the launch


2016: Launch of a new model with an improved interior

Improved interior for enhanced comfort and top-level fuel efficiency in Japan.


2017: FUSO leads in eMobility with the launch of the eCanter

Japan’s first series-produced electric light-duty eCanter truck is introduced.


2020: Launch of a new model with a completely redesigned exterior

With a front face that integrates the “black belt” design motif, this upgraded Canter becomes the first* light-duty truck in Japan to be installed with the advanced safety feature Active Sideguard Assist®

*Information as of Oct. 2020 within Japanese market.


2022: Unveiled the next generation eCanter

The world premiere of the fully remodeled next-generation eCanter in September 2022. The next generation model is scheduled to start sales in spring 2023.




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 over 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 over the decades. 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. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the FUSO brand, another milestone in its continuing legacy of setting benchmarks in efficiency, safety, and comfort.


About the eCanter

The eCanter is the series-produced all-electric truck developed by MFTBC as a solution to urban environmental issues such as noise, exhaust gas and CO2 emissions. As the eCanter is locally emission-free with its electric motor and produces less noise and vibration compared to conventional diesel-powered vehicles, it is particularly suited to inner-city routes as well as operations during late night and early morning hours. MFTBC launched a new model with advanced safety features in August 2020. In September 2022, the fully remodeled next-generation eCanter was unveiled. The next generation eCanter is scheduled to start sales in the spring of 2023.