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The 44th TOKYO MOTOR SHOW 2015

UD Trucks - Going the Extra Mile since 1935

Discover UD Trucks’ booth! Quon Vision Envisioning the future UD Electric Demonstrator Emission-free. Silent running. Endless possibilities.

Going the Extra Mile for

Smart Logistics!

The 44th TOKYO MOTOR SHOW 2015

Dear friends, 04

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Tokyo Motor Show 2015 with this special issue of Roads!


If you are holding this issue in your hands, I may happily suppose that you are visiting the UD Trucks booth.


The year 2015 is a very important one for UD Trucks, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the company, while, as importantly, we prepare for the future!

Discover UD Trucks’ booth! Going the Extra Mile since 1935… UD Trucks’ 80th anniversary - milestones

…for Smart Logistics! A new era for unequaled drivability, efficiency and uptime Quon Vision Envisioning the future


The future for UD lies in providing the best trucks and services to our customers, following the company’s founding vision: To make the truck the world needs today. That’s why we conceived Smart Logistics, a vision for how to support our customers to meet with today’s challenges in road transportation, from drivability to safety, reducing running costs while increasing uptime and productivity. At UD Trucks we believe that meeting the world’s needs today, can only come entirely into play if we fully address the needs of the logistics industry, in terms of operations control, maintenance, expense limitation and so on. To make it happen, UD Trucks designers have created their vision of the future in the Quon Vision, a futuristic concept, prefiguring the truck of the next generation. Quon Vision is a step ahead in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental performance, in terms of drivability and safety, in terms of uptime and productivity. Quon Vision is a laboratory of future technologies, meeting future environmental restrictions, and using the most advanced technologies to assist the driver on the road, coupled with driving pleasure, comfort and safety, while also focusing on reducing running costs and maximizing uptime. As UD explores possible future paths for road transportation, “UD Electric Demonstrator” is an experimental truck exploring the future of electric propulsion in the mediumduty segment, integrating the performance of an internal combustion-engined vehicle in a silent zero emission package.


UDIS & Smart uptime support Proactive and responsive extra mile support


UD Electric Demonstrator Emission-free. Silent running. Endless possibilities.



Extra Mile Stories Four reasons why Quon is perfect

Customer story Aiming for perfection: Maruwn Corporation

Building on our Japanese heritage, and now as a part of the Volvo Group, UD Trucks will keep on going the extra mile to stay a step ahead, remaining by your side as a valuable partner as you develop your activities, and providing you with optimal solutions to meet your every need. We wish you a pleasant visit at the UD Trucks’ booth, discovering, in the company of our UD team, the trucks the world needs today!

Yoshihiro Murakami President UD Trucks Corporation

Roads is published by UD Trucks Corporation Publisher Kenneth Hagas

Tokyo Motor Show 2015 - UD Trucks’ booth

Discover our booth! Going the Extra Mile since 1935...

...for Smart Logistics

In 1935, our founder, Kenzo Adachi, had a vision “to make the truck the world needs today”. Since that time, we have pursued this vision by going the extra mile to listen to our customers and to respond to new challenges in the transportation industry. We hope you will enjoy learning about the milestones of our 80-year history. Take the quiz and have fun!

Learn the details about UD Trucks' vision to support Smart Logistics.

Smart uptime support

Volvo Group Quon Vision (Reference Exhibit) The Quon Vision embodies UD Trucks’ future vision for smart logistics. Drawing on our Japanese heritage and global knowledge, it aims to deliver outstandingly on our customers’ core needs of fuel efficiency, uptime and drivability.

The cutting-edge technology We are pleased to introduce the stateof-the-art technologies developed by the Volvo Group. UD became a part of the Volvo Group, a global leader in heavy-duty commercial vehicles, in 2007.

Volvo FH Best solution for long distance transport Volvo FH, the flagship model of Volvo Trucks, has been designed with drivers - key contributors to a succesful business - in mind. With its top class innovations on technology, safety and comfort, it is the best solution for an efficient business operation.

Proactive and responsive extra mile support At UD Trucks our aim is clear: to be an uptime company. This means that we will do our outmost to keep our customers’ trucks on the road. Our vision is to create an ultimate uptime center that proactively detects and fixes problems before they even happen, and to offer immediate and dependable UD Road Support to solve issues when they arise.

UD Electric Demonstrator (Reference Exhibit)

ESCOT-V and GH11

Emission-free. Silent running. Endless possibilities.

Taking the lead in smart drivelines The ESCOT-V is the cutting-edge automated manual electric transmission that has the largest market share in Japan. It delivers unrivalled drivability and fuel efficiency by choosing the optimal gear automatically at all times. With Escot-V and the new GH11 engine - delivering maximum torque on an even wider range - UD Trucks now provides outstanding fuel efficiency and drivability.



The UD Electric Demonstrator is a fully electric medium-duty truck. It is emission-free and silent with a full-sized medium-duty body for highproductivity low-impact transportations. Learn how it works and open up your imagination to its endless possibilities.

Efficiency moving you forward UD Trucks’ heavy-duty flagship truck “Quon” offers the best combination of excellent fuel efficiency, uptime, productivity, safety and drivability. UD Trucks is committed to go the extra mile to maximize uptime and productivity of our customers' trucks with UD's comprehensive extra mile support after-sales service together with the Quon’s excellent vehicle performance.


2010 - Name change to UD Trucks Corporation

UD Trucks’ 80th anniversary - milestones

Going the Extra Mile



2013 2007

1935 – Founding of the company by Kenzo Adachi (Nihon Diesel Industries, Ltd.)

2007 - UD Trucks Join Volvo Group Quon 2004

It all started with his vision “to make the truck the world needs today”.

World’s first

2013 - Launch of Quester for global growth markets

Quon 2004

World’s first truck with knee airbag and knee protector

2014 - Renewal of Quon 2004

Completed the 13 day and 3000 km test drive without a single fault or breakdown.

2004 - The flagship Quon Designed to be the new reference in its segment, Quon addressed concerns such as running costs, environmental concerns, handling, comfort & safety.


1955 – The birth of the original UD Engines

World’s first truck with the urea SCR system


1939 – The LD1 completed the legendary test drive

(for medium & heavy duty trucks)

2010 - Innovative GH engine series and ESCOT-V


Kenzo Adachi standing with the LD1

Japan’s first

2011 - Launch of the new Condor

Japan’s first remote diagnostic service

since 1935...

(for medium & heavy duty trucks)


UD Information Service

UD6 engine

CNG Big Thumb

The new heavy-duty flagship takes fuel efficiency, uptime, safety, payload and drivability to new levels. By combining Quon’s advanced technology with the unique UD Extra Mile support, customers significantly decrease their costs.

Capacitor Hybrid Truck



Japan’s first heavy-duty CNG truck

World’s first capacitator hybrid truck


GE13 engine




Japan’s first engine in the 200-horsepower class

1997 Japan’s first Electric Braking System for heavy-duty trucks.

First appearance of UD’s logo - symbol of a high-performing engine

Japan’s first engine with electronically controlled unit injectors

CNG Condor





Japan’s first medium duty CNG truck


Japan’s first 10-ton truck

Japan’s first electrically controlled automated manual transmission

1958 - The popular 6TW 6TW was put to use in tough conditions such as the construction of the Kurobe dam in addition to long-distance transportation to boost the country’s infrastructure development.


1960 – Name change to Nissan Diesel Co., Ltd.

1975 - Debut of mid-size Condor

Traffic Eye 1989

PD6T engine



Japan’s first turbocharged diesel engine with direct injection


World’s first commercialized radar laser collision prevention system

1990 - The revolutionary Big Thumb

2015 1990

2015 – Start of UD Road Support, in-house call center and road support service

VNT 1989

World’s first continuously controlled variable nozzle turbocharger

Going the Extra Mile for

Smart Logistics 07

CONNECTIVITY Going the Extra Mile for Smart Logistics

Our vision for Smart Uptime and Productivity To constantly monitor every UD truck on the road through smart telematics and provide remote diagnostics and repair.

Smart Drivability & Safety Smart Fuel Efficiency

Our vision for Smart Fuel Efficiency

To offer ultimate UD Road Support for immediate response to our customers whenever and wherever they need it.

Smart Uptime & Productivity

To excel in lifetime productivity by improved payload and UD extra mile support over the truck’s lifecycle.

To deliver an AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) with best in class manmachine interface and higher torque engine for ultimate drivability.

To create the smartest on-board driver coaching system available. To deliver an ultimately clean and efficient engine, and an even smarter ESCOT AMT. To make highly aerodynamic trucks that save fuel by adapting to the road ahead, using our ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System).

Our vision for Smart Drivability and Safety

To create the ultimate Uptime Center that proactively detects and fixes any potential faults before they cause downtime.


To create an ultimately safe truck with improved AEBS (Advanced Emergency Braking System), LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System) and innovative driver support systems. To make every driver world-class through total drive support and comfort.

Taking the lead in


“Connectivity” is a key concept which enables us to support smart logistics. Smart Fuel Efficiency, Smart Drivability and Safety, and Smart Uptime and Productivity are tightly “connected” both conceptually and technologically. The UD Information Services (UDIS) provides integrated benefits for the entire truck operation. The intraconnectivity between the engine, the ESCOT-V AMT and all vehicle systems are enhanced by the connectivity between the truck and the uptime center, dealerships, and customers. There is a technical connection utilizing wireless, GPS, satellite and telematics, as well as the human connection between fleet managers, drivers, and UD experts and mechanics. UD Trucks and the Volvo Group are at the forefront of “connectivity”.


Our vision

Going the Extra Mile for Smart Logistics In 1935, our founder, Kenzo Adachi, had a vision “to make the truck the world needs today”. Since this moment, we have pursued this vision by going the extra mile to listen to our customers and to respond to developing societies. In the late 1950s and 1960s, we created the UD engines and 6TW, Japan’s first 10-ton truck, which helped to build the infrastructure you see in Japan today. In the 1990s, we reacted to growing environmental and safety concerns, with innovations such as the ESCOT-AT, Traffic Eye and GE13 engine. In 2004, we delivered the Quon, which took the lead with the world’s first SCR system, delivering first class fuel efficiency and


caring for the environment. For 80 years, UD Trucks has taken the lead with developments that our customers and their businesses needed most.

Today, the world needs more than just a truck. Today, the world needs a fuel-efficient truck that delivers sustainable and profitable transport. Today, the world needs an ultimately safe truck that is easy and comfortable to drive. Today, the world needs

a truck that is highly reliable and productive that comes with smart and modern aftermarket and uptime support. We summarize what the world needs today as “smart logistics”. We see that our society needs safe and environmentally friendly transport. Our vision is to connect the latest technologies to support our customers so that they deliver safe, productive and efficient logistics every single day. Our vision, is to go the extra mile to support smart logistics.

Going the Extra Mile for Smart Logistics

delivering aerodynamic trucks, with a clean, efficient engine, smart on-board driver coaching system and ADAS.

In today’s world, our vision is to go the extra mile to support our customers, so they can deliver smart needs in the transportation industry.

We want to produce safe and highly drivable trucks with a total drive support, innovative driver support systems and a smart AMT.

For our customers, smart logistics means providing sustainable, safe and profitable transport. At UD Trucks, our role is to support our customers in their efforts to deliver smart logistics. To achieve this, we have identified the three essential areas in all of our customers’ businesses:

We want to deliver ultimately dependable and productive trucks with a smart uptime support for the lifetime of the vehicle.

We want to excel in fuel efficiency by

We want to excel in these three essential areas of our customers' business, and we call this going the extra mile for smart logistics.

We are confident that we can turn our vision into our reality. As a part of the Volvo Group, we have access to the world’s leading technological innovations. Adding to this our rich heritage of UD Trucks craftsmanship, our engineering skills and gemba spirit that means we always go the extra mile, in everything we do. In 1935, Kenzo Adachi was clear on the truck that the world needed. Today, at UD Trucks, we continue to be clear on the needs of today’s world and equally determined to support these needs. This is why, at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015, we want to show you how we are going the extra mile for smart logistics.


Quon Vision

Envisioning the future



Quon Vision

The Quon Vision is the symbol of UD Trucks’ future vision for Smart Logistics.

Smart Uptime & Productivity

Smart Fuel Efficiency

Innovative solutions to maximize fuel efficiency, drivability, safety and uptime

Smart Drivability & Safety

The Hexagon concept—

“Dependable Tools with a Soul” The front grill of trucks made by UD Trucks have traditionally been designed in the shape of an hexagon. The hexagon represents an aspect of UD Trucks’ product design philosophy, “Dependable Tools with a Soul”. Each of the six corners expresses the ideas of Tough, Smart, Distinctive, Harmonized, Caring and Supportive, which embody the areas that UD Trucks focuses on in the production of its vehicles. The multi-disciplinary team behind the development of the Quon Vision (from left to right): Ryousuke Kishimoto (Designer), Takayuki Iuchi (Designer), Takayuki Asaoka (Physical Modeler), Mitsuyasu Ebe (Physical Modeler), Kouichi Naitou (Chief Designer), Toshio Shiratori (Design Director)





A modern design concept which incorporates the essence of traditional Japanese design




The hexagon design theme is inherited from UD Trucks’s first cab-over truck, the TC80G, in the 1960s



Uptime support

Dealership A UD dealer expert will analyze the data and call the customer to recommend a vehicle inspection to minimize downtime.



A potential issue with a truck will be detected and highlighted by remote diagnostic, an important feature of UDIS.

The customer drives the truck to the workshop, where all the necessary tools and mechanics will be ready to fix the issue at hand.


Smart uptime support

Proactive and responsive extra mile support At UD Trucks, we are always striving to be an uptime company. This means that we do our best to keep our customers’ trucks on the road. Building on our company vision, we created the ultimate uptime center that proactively detects and fixes problems before they happen, and offers UD Road Support immediate response to solve issues when they do arise.

Innovative solutions to maximize uptime UDIS—UD Information Service In your business, it is important and necessary to have the peace of mind needed to run a smooth operation. However, every business meets unavoidable problems at some stage, and some breakdowns can not be predicted. As your trusted business partner, UD Trucks offers solutions to maximize the uptime of your trucks. With the launch of the UD Information Service, which now enables us to detect remotely potential problems, and to quickly respond to arising issues, UD is engaged in treating proactively and responsively any unexpected event your truck may encounter.

Proactive support

RESPONSIVE SUPPORT Responsive support

Call center

Service van

If a customer finds a problem or receives an alert on the truck, they are able to call our 24/7 in-house call center for assistance

When required, our call center will contact a nearby dealer and send out a UD service van with all the correct tools to fix the issue.

UDIS The coordinator will check the vehicle condition and where the truck is located through UDIS.


By utilizing the remote diagnostic system, one of the features of the UD Information Service, UD Trucks can proactively analyze customers’ vehicle conditions.

Alerts sent to the information center when your vehicle warning light is activated.

As a feature of the remote diagnosis, a warning lamp is lit on the vehicle’s dashboard informing the driver, while the information is automatically transmitted to UD Trucks. For particularly important alerts, a vehicle inspection from UD Trucks is recommended to customers, to prevent any eventual breakdown, contributing to improved uptime.

For important alerts, an inspection of the truck might be suggested, to prevent any risk of breakdown.

In the event of a breakdown, the UD Information Services coordinators at the call center are informed of the position of your vehicle, and can locate the nearest UD Trucks dealer instantly.

A rapid response is possible as your vehicle position allows the system to match it to the nearest UD dealer.

Using the vehicle condition information that has been detected by the remote diagnosis, we will be able to narrow down the potential problem areas before the truck arrives at the workshop. Rapid response and tight communication between the coordinator and the mechanics allow for improved efficiency and quick resolution of the problem, at the benefit of uptime.

Depending on the condition of the vehicle, a professional mechanic will carry out maintenance for optimal uptime.


Electric propulsion

UD Electric Demonstrator ELECTRIC MOTOR

Three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motor. Acting as a generator during deceleration.

Step down the voltage of lithium ion battery and supply the electricity to auxiliary components.

High capacity batteries are mounted on both sides of the vehicle


The junction box combines the power from both batteries and provides it to the electric motor driver The electric motor driver converts DC electric power to AC and provides it to the electric motor The electric motor provides propulsion power to the wheels via the unique 2-speed AMT

Braking regeneration Braking power is generated by the electric motor

The electric power is provided to the junction box The electric power is split and charged to both batteries

Distribute electric power between the lithium ion batteries and each component.

Unit for charging lithium ion battery from external power supply .

UD Electric Demonstrator Emission-free. Silent running.

Endless possibilities.



Endless usage possibilities

The truck communicates through WiFi with a mobile tablet and informs the driver about the charging status and battery levels in real time


Developed by an international team with staff drawn from Japan, Sweden and France, UD Electric Demonstrator is a driving laboratory that showcases what potential electric trucks can bring to future transportation. The diesel powertrain is replaced by a light-weight and compact electrical driveline. Combining a high-speed electric compact motor and a 2-speed AMT, it constantly delivers maximum torque over a wide rev range. To spare batteries and limit electrical consumption, many modifications have been applied to this special truck. The brakes are designed to benefit from an energy regeneration system: when braking, an electric motor driver transforms the kinetic energy into electricity, contributing to extending the range. The steering is now powered by an electro-hydraulic pump, while auxiliaries are moved through energy-saving electric air compressors. Xenon headlamps are replaced by low-consumption LED lamps, while rear lights are composed of a mix of energy-efficient lighting technologies. Equipped with a widely spread CHAdeMO system, and a quick-


Both batteries provide DC electric power to the junction box

The power is converted to DC electric power by the electric motor driver


Inverter to drive the electric motor.

As UD continues to explore all possible future paths of transportation, Electric Demonstrator, UD’s electric medium-duty concept-truck, shows the way to zero emission transportation.

• Vital component of the Volvo Group’s new full electric driveline, developed in-house and based on many years of advanced engineering experience. • UD Electric Demonstrator has used the same technology structure and optimized this for a medium-duty truck. Highspeed electric compact motor with 2-speed AMT enables it to deliver efficiently the necessary power and torque for medium-duty truck.

Recharging is simple: just plug in!

600V lithium ion battery.

2-Speed AMT

charging system, UD Electric Demonstrator can accommodate various customers’ needs, such as charging during deliveries, for example. Designed with latest UD Trucks’ technologies, UD Electric Demonstrator highlights traditional UD qualities such as road handling and comfort. The electrical driveline and the lithium-ion batteries are positioned in the central part of the vehicle, to allow better weight balance, and reduced vibrations at the benefit of the driver’s comfort. In the past years, transportation needs have evolved considerably. Population concentration in urban areas, and the rapid development of e-commerce have increased the number of deliveries anytime of the day, including early morning and late evening. Besides, environmental issues have become a major concern. UD Electric Demonstrator is a people-friendly and environment-friendly zero-emission and silent vehicle. As a result, as well as addressing the need for early morning and late night deliveries, it can help to solve specific issues, such as garbage collection. Moreover, it increases the possibilities for deliveries in closed spaces, or emission-restricted areas.

Emission-Free Zones where noise is limited are becoming more and more common, as are zero emission zone. UD Electric Demonstrator can cross all zones and even go where conventional trucks can’t.

Silent Running Because of it s fully elec tric technology, UD Electric Demonstrator makes for extremely silent running and a comfortable experience for the driver.

Large Cargo Space UD Electric Demonstrator is a fully functioning medium duty truck. This promises great flexibility and ability to carry large loads as well as adapting to a huge range of uses.

Adapted to urban transportation needs of the future, UD Electric Demonstrator is a tangible example of the continuous research that UD carries out to provide Smart Logistics solutions to its customers.


Extra Mile Stories - Quon

Quon can be trusted with tough, long distances.

Fuel-efficient and comfortable driving delivers strong peace of mind.


Safe, User-friendly Operation For long-distance driving at night, safety is our top concern. The ESCOTV-equipped Quon frees the driver from the stress of working the clutch pedal, so they can safely concentrate on driving. All the while, Quon automatically selects the optimal gear setting, so fuel efficiency is achieved naturally. The smooth and powerful performance is reassuring and it reduces fatigue. Since a driver spends more time in their truck’s cab than they do at home, it’s important that they can relax. The user-friendly cockpit is comfortable, too.

Four reasons why Quon is perfect Extra Mile Stories. These are real stories from UD Trucks customers. This Extra Mile Story explains how the transportation company, Yamato Multi Charter, is making efforts to deal with its challenges, and how Quon goes the extra mile to support them.

Trucks used for ferrying goods between distribution centers routinely drive routes topping 1,000 km. To ensure on-time operation while keeping safety first, I personally test drove a Quon – and that was it! The ESCOT-V automatic transmission assures both stable driving and fuel economy regardless of the driver’s skill. Better fuel economy makes a big difference in long-distance driving. Because it’s a safe and reliable truck, we look on it as a savior that will attract more drivers and revitalize our industry. UD Trucks’ after-sales servicing—which responds to trouble quickly anywhere nationwide—is reassuring, too. Our drivers are full of vim and vigor, and so are our Quon trucks. They provide strong support for our business, which requires us to be always on the road for our customers. Akira Maruyama Yamato Multi Charter Co., Ltd. Director


Takashi Wakuda Yamato Multi Charter Co., Ltd. Group Leader

Easy cargo handling for more efficient transportation.


Anyone can achieve the same fuel efficiency.


Improved Fuel Efficiency Traditionally, fuel consumption varied greatly depending on the driver’s experience and skill. After adopting Quon, veterans and rookies alike have attained fuel-efficient driving. Because ESCOT-V reduces demands on the driver, it makes for safer driving. Since a single trip tops 1,000km at our company, the benefits relative to cost improved substantially on a per-truck basis. It also contributes in terms of environmental protection. Akira Maruyama Yamato Multi Charter Co., Ltd. Director

The one truck that completely satisfies the needs of our customers.

ESCOT-V was developed to address the needs of customers. Delivering smoother driving than ever before, it assures enhanced fuel efficiency. It also features clutch-free operation that allows drivers to concentrate on the road. ESCOT-V thus provides greater safety while significantly reducing driver fatigue.

Powerful support for fuel-efficient driving in all situations


Improved Transportation Quality

Loading and unloading are jobs that require sophisticated skills, just like driving ability. Quon’s cargo bed is easy to get on and off, facilitating efficient handling of cargo. It’s also been made lighter, giving it greater capacity—something that has earned us the appreciation of our customers. Quon has allowed us to surely fulfill our duty of transporting goods between distribution centers quickly and on time, nationwide.

Trucks are the most important tools for our customers to conduct business. To enable them to do their everyday work without concern, we repeatedly subjected Quon to thorough development testing to attain the highest level of quality using a highly advanced manufacturing system. We have also sharply reduced the likelihood of trouble resulting from wear and tear. Quon’s sure quality translates to less downtime and better transportation results. To drive our customers to greater success, Quon will continually evolve.

Takashi Wakuda Yamato Multi Charter Co., Ltd. Group Leader

Tetsushi Iwasaka UD Trucks Co., Ltd. Product Planner

Superior Cargo Handling

ESCOT-V: the fuel-efficient, comfortable and safe automated gearbox revolution

ESCOT-V’s biggest feature is its automatic transmission with instantaneous auto-shifting to the optimal gear ratio. It means anyone can minimize fuel consumption like a veteran driver. The adoption of other innovations to heighten combustion efficiency on the GH11 engine also leads to better fuel savings. Economy E-D Mode for fuel-saving performance by anyone ESCOT-V’s Economy E-D Mode activates an acceleration limiter to bring about both superior fuel efficiency and smooth driving. To maximize fuel efficiency, acceleration is kept below a certain level even if the accelerator is floored. Soft cruise control for relaxed driving While using ESCOT-V’s auto cruise system, the Economy E-D Mode can be turned on with the press of a button to achieve both comfortable driving and reduced fuel usage. ESCOT-V will automatically regulate gear-change timing and uphill acceleration for optimum fuel efficiency. ESCOT Roll suppresses fuel consumption when coasting ESCOT-V is equipped with ESCOT Roll which disengages the engine brake when coasting. Rather than burning fuel, the truck’s own mass is used to prevent speed loss while suppressing fuel consumption.


Cu s to m e r s to r y

Aiming for perfection Text: Kenta Tanimich

Photos: Nicolas Datiche

Some companies are driven to enter new markets and introduce new products hoping to expand their business range. For others, focusing on what lies in front of them and trying hard to achieve perfection is what counts. Major transporter Maruwn Corporation, based in Tokyo, is most definitely among the latter. Japanese artists and business people are familiar with the well-known saying; “The devil is in the details!” and it is this kind of thinking that has given Maruwn its unique position in Japan’s logistics industry.


apan boasts some 63,000 truck transporters, of which one company, Maruwn [pronounced Maru-un], has managed to secure a significant share of a very specific market. “Of Japan’s domestic oil transport market - including trucking and maritime cargo - Maruwn has six to seven per cent market share,” says company president Yutaka Ichihara. “Since we specialize in trucking and not shipping, you could say that we’re among the top trucking companies in this market.” Petroleum, lubricant and other chemical products account for 36% of Maruwn’s consolidated annual turnover of 49 billion yen or about 400 million U.S. dollars. The company employs around 2,100 people, including affiliates in Japan and China. Japan imports almost all of its crude oil from overseas. Shipped to refineries along the coastline, the crude is first processed into gasoline, kerosene or other petroleum products and then transported by a Maruwn tanker for delivery. The other larger portion of the business, accounting for nearly half of total revenue, is generated by transporting raw materials for industrial use. Dry cargo, as it is called, includes cables, steel frames, aluminum coil and other heavy, bulky goods. “There are transporters that specialize in carrying petroleum products and also others that focus on raw materials, but I can’t think of a Japanese company, apart from us, that does both,” adds Ichihara proudly. Despite these varied revenue streams,

Maruwn is currently facing challenges; de-industrialization and a shrinking Japanese population is bad news for petroleum products and raw materials. This translates into a drop in demand coupled with difficulties hiring from a dwindling workforce. “In order to hire people we need to pay more and improve work conditions. To do that, our productivity has to go up but how can we do that?” Ichihara asks. “If we could automate our business processes we would. But the fact is, we carry heavy goods. Although we try to automate as much as possible in our storage facilities, it is our willingness to meet the specific demands of our customers that makes a difference to our service.” Akio Tanaka, group manager of procurement, explains how it is done. “A truck company that carries merchandize for a network of convenience stores may buy 200 identical trucks each year. Our way is different,” says Tanaka. “We find customized solutions for each of our customers and each type of product. This means that most of our truck bodies are different. Since the goods we carry are heavy and fragile, we might want, for instance, a steel post placed somewhere in the loading area to tether ropes to prevent the cargo from shifting around. That’s the way we do business.” Maruwn’s current fleet numbers around 1,500 vehicles and almost all of them come with custom-made bodies. “I bet you can’t find any other company like us!” ventures Tanaka, who is responsible for truck purchases and liaison with manufacturers. While Maruwn has been focusing on delivering customer satisfaction, it has also started to outsource non-core business such as truck repair operations.

Ichihara Yutaka, President of Maruwn Corporation. With a background in the oil industry, Ichihara brought a wealth of knowledge with him when he became president of Maruwn four years ago



Cu s to m e r s to r y

It has now closed most of its own repair shops and in 2007, UD Trucks won a contract to do maintenance work for Maruwn’s Kanto region, which includes Tokyo and Yokohama. “From around 2005, maintenance became more difficult as that was the year manufacturers started to use more computerized parts,” says Tanaka. One way of coping with this change was to contract this work out, “We’ve outsourced maintenance of all of our Kanto-based trucks, including that of other brands, to UD and they do an excellent job.” The maintenance contract proved invaluable recently when a Maruwn vehicle broke down on an express way in Saga prefecture, approximately 900 kilometers southwest of Tokyo.

Haneda Keihin Logistics Centre

Fujita Takeru, Head of General Affairs Department, Maruwn Corp. (left) Akio Tanaka, Group Manager of Procurement, Maruwn Corp. (right)

December 2012 saw the opening of a new logistics hub at Keihin Island in the Ota neighborhood of Tokyo. “Haneda airport, Japan Freight Railway terminal and Keihin truck terminal are all within a few kilometers of our base,” says Yoshikazu Wakabayashi, second in command at the center. “Our five-story storage facility with a total floor space of 17,000 square meters (about 180,000 square feet) has recently been expanded,” says Hamabe. “The center is also equipped with a bonded warehouse which we aim to use to expand our foreign cargo business.” Wakabayashi walks through neat rows of aluminum building materials stacked in the storage area. “This elevator can hold up to five tonnes,” he says. “We regularly use it to load semiconductor manufacturing equipment that can weigh as much as three tonnes.”

Each truck is customized to clients’ specific needs, as illustrated by these five trucks

“On this occasion, the truck had an engine malfunction. Whether it concerns UD or another manufacturer, we’re usually looking at about a month to replace an engine. But this time it only took ten days. UD enabled us to shorten any inconvenience to our customer by 20 days. That’s huge!” “Keeping our trucks in good working condition and being able to have them fixed quickly is at the foundation of our service commitment,” emphasizes Takeru Fujita, head of the general affairs department at the company. Maruwn’s custom-made truck bodies along with other efforts have successfully shortened load and unloading times at the customer end. But if the usual truck fails to work, finding a suitable substitute vehicle can cause delays. “We’ve worked hard on countless kaizen to cut costs and improve service levels. That’s why fast repairs are crucial to us,” adds Fujita, referring to the Japanese work philosophy of continuous improvement and troubleshooting of the smallest details. In the Japanese transport industry, Maruwn is one of the long-term players. Tenryu Transport, one of Maruwn’s forerunners, was established in 1892. “Then in 1950, it merged with a company that specialized in railway cargo and that formed the foundation of Maruwn’s


Yoshikazu Wakabayashi, Deputy Manager of Haneda Keihin Logistics Centre

current business,” says Ichihara. “Faced with expanding demand at the time, the company received investment funding from Nippon Mining. Its successor JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation is still our biggest customer.” In 1990, Maruwn was listed on the first division of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and today the company is consolidating its business expansion into China. The first subsidiary was established in Shanghai in 2007, then another in Changzhou, a city in Jiangsu province 160 kilometers west of Shanghai, and finally in Tianjin, the largest port city in Northern China.

“China is a price-driven market with a myriad of competitors. At this time the revenue from our China business is relatively small,” admits Ichihara, but he is aiming big. “We’re determined to stick to our quality standards so we are focused on giving thorough training to our drivers in China. By 2018, our target is to increase our China revenue to at least 10 per cent of overall revenue. Securing a firm footing in China is one of the key priorities of our global strategy.” And to achieve their expansion strategy, the new generations of this near 125year old company will continue to focus on those “devilish details”, a company philosophy that will guide them in the coming challenging decades.

Outsourcing maintenance work to UD Trucks

Keiji Nosaka, Chief Field Mechanic (above) Kameo Metoki, experienced driver of Maruwn Corp. (below)

Kameo Metoki is a veteran driver with 29 years’ experience. His first truck was a 10ton diesel under the Nissan brand, now UD Trucks. “In those days, trucks were much slower. My truck would slow down to as low as 30 or 40 kilometers per hour in the long uphill grind at Dangozaka on the Chuo express way.” He now drives a Quon and appreciates the huge improvements. “Seat cushions are soft and easy on the body. Although I suffer from backache, it’s really comfortable driving a Quon. It’s a lot quieter in the cabin too. And I feel safer with Traffic Eye Breaks that alert me if I’m getting too close to another car.” If drivers experience any problems with

their truck, they will cont ac t one of Maruwn’s mechanics. Chief Field Mechanic, Keiji Nosaka, grew up w ith a pas si on for machine s and motorbikes and a dream of making that his job. “I’m now in charge of visiting our truck drivers based in Tok yo and Kanagawa prefecture. I inspect trucks and discuss with the drivers any overhauls and repair schedules.” As more electronic equipment is used, adequate in-house maintenance is becoming more challenging. “We’ve closed our own repair shop in Kanto and have UD Trucks do the work. I’m happy that they are always reachable - even late at night - and that they are reliable.”


UD Road Support – Whatever happens, we’re by your side. Wherever you might find yourself in Japan, our dedicated call center staff will stay with you every step of the way until your issue is resolved. Unforeseeable emergencies can happen at any moment. That’s why we’re here around the clock. Our nationwide UD service network and technically trained mechanics ensure that we will rush to your aid and will lead you out of trouble’s way.

* UD Road Support requires prior registration. Please consult with your nearest UD Trucks retailer for more information.

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