Fuso, Hino Daimler and Toyota have delivered a disappointing update on the progress of the planned merger of the Fuso and Hino brands under the collaboration and MoU the four companies first announced in May last year.

In the statement from the  companies, the indication is that the collaboration and merger are running well behind schedule and that the original completion dates have been pushed back further into 2025 and possibly later.

The Memorandum of Understanding was based on accelerating the development of advanced technologies and eventually merging Fuso and Hino.

The companies said at the time that the planned collaboration was aimed at achieving carbon neutrality and “creating a prosperous mobility society by developing CASE technologies (Connected / Autonomous & Automated / Shared / Electric) and strengthening the commercial vehicle business on a global scale”.

According to the MoU, Fuso and Hino planned to merge on an “equal footing and collaborate in the areas of commercial vehicle development, procurement, and production”.

The plan they announced was to build a “globally competitive Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer”, with both Daimler Truck and Toyota investing equally in the (listed) holding company of the merged Fuso and Hino.

While the Definitive Agreement for merging Fuso and Hino was targeted to be signed by the end of  this month (March 2024) and the integration  was intended to be completed by the end of this year (2024), the companies said that the process of obtaining necessary regulatory clearances and approvals under competition and other laws and regulations, as well as the pending investigations related to Hino’s engine certification issues,  which are still ongoing, and that as such, the original schedule has had to be extended.

The companies said the timing of the envisaged execution of the Definitive Agreement and the implementation of the business integration will be announced “as soon as a reliable timeline for the pending investigations is available”.

They said that once all parties involved reach an agreement, they will move forward based on the approval of the relevant boards of directors, shareholders, and authorities.

The companies said that they have been discussing how Fuso and Hino can work together to improve business efficiency and enhance competitiveness, based on the common desire to “contribute to a prosperous society through mobility”.

They have also been discussing how Daimler Truck and Toyota can work together to “further enhance their technology development capabilities and promote CASE technology in order to contribute to customers and stakeholders in Japan and Asia, as well as the Japanese automotive industry”.

They said that through the discussion,” based on integrity, mutual respect, and diversity and by understanding each other’s strengths and corporate culture, the parties confirm that the merger discussions are progressing on a positive note and that the strategic objectives and logic of the proposed transaction continues to be valid”.