Editor’s Note: Deletes reference to relationship between Mitsubishi Fuso and Daimler Trucks North America
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA) will stop selling Class 4-5 medium-duty trucks in the U.S. and Canada when it runs out of inventory, but it will continue providing parts and service for customers through at least 2028.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. (MFTBC), which manufactures commercial vehicles in Asia,, announced the move Wednesday after making the decision on Tuesday. MFTBC is a brand of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler Trucks.
“The decision itself was sudden,” Bryan Allen, MFTA marketing manager, told FreightWaves.
Mitsubishi Fuso accounts for less than 5% of the U.S.-Canada medium-duty truck market, Allen said. It sold a total of 1,400 gas and diesel trucks in the U.S. and Canada in 2019, according to IHS Markit.
MFTA will keep most of its 74 Logan Township, New Jersey-based corporate employees in the near term, as well as its headquarters and parts distribution and technical training centers.
The fate of 137 sales locations is up to their independent franchisees, Some will convert to parts and service stores, Allen said. Mitsubishi Fuso has 52 stand-alone service outlets.
Mitsubishi Fuso is a Daimler Trucks affiliate that reports through Daimler Trucks Asia.
Mitsubishi Fuso’s electric eCanter was an early entry among medium-duty electric trucks when it was revealed in September 2017. About 50 eCanter trucks are in operation under two-year leases in the U.S. Customers include Penske Truck Leasing Co., J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and the University of California, Irvine.
“We will continue to support those customers until the leases end,” he said.
The remaining inventory consists of Fuso FE Gas trucks introduced in 2019 specifically for the U.S. and Canada following the discontinuation of a diesel model after the 2018 model year. A few diesel models remain for sale.
“It’s a very competitive market,” Allen said. “MFTBC found it nonviable to invest in products specific to the U.S. and Canada.”
The timing of the decision surprised IHS analyst Antti Lindstrom.
“I don’t quite understand why now because the COVID thing doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it,” Lindstrom told FreightWaves. “Maybe it’s got something to do with Daimler’s own branding. It’s a little odd that they would have this small brand in this large market that doesn’t have a lot of success.”
Mitsubishi Fuso faced new competition from medium-duty electric truck makers like BYD and Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS). DTNA’s Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) unit unveiled its MT50 electric chassis for production this year.
“Everybody is looking at that delivery segment from the distribution center to the final consumer,” Lindstrom said. “Others have much larger volumes.”