Local assembly of light-duty Canter trucks begins in Saudi Arabia for the first time

  • General distributor Juffali Commercial Vehicles and NAI, its joint venture with Daimler Truck AG, begin assembling light-duty Canter trucks for the first time in Saudi Arabia
  • KD assembly begins with the FE84 and FE85 Canter models
  • Saudi Arabia is one of the largest volume FUSO markets in the MENA region

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC; headquarters: Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture; President and CEO: Karl Deppen), is pleased to announce that the local assembly of knock-down (KD) Canter trucks has started for the first time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The assembly of the trucks is taking place in a facility operated by National Automobile Industries (NAI), a joint venture between general distributor Juffali Commercial Vehicles and Daimler Truck AG.

Local operations for the FUSO Canter began with four variants of the 6.5-tonne FE84 and three of the 7.2-tonne FE85. Equipped with the 4D33 engine, the light-duty truck serves key industries such as fast moving consumer goods and food distribution. The Canter has been a favorite of the Saudi market, due to their durability and reliability – necessary qualities to match the demanding conditions of region. On an average year, several thousand units of light-duty trucks are sold in Saudi Arabia alone. Further supported by a full range of light- to heavy-duty trucks and light-duty buses, the market is also among the largest for the FUSO brand in the MENA region in terms of unit sales, second only to the United Arab Emirates.

The KD kits for the FE84 and FE85 are exported out of the MFTBC Kawasaki Plant and shipped to the NAI facility in Jeddah, the second largest city in the country. The plant is well versed in the requirements needed to produce a high-quality truck, having started the assembly of Mercedes-Benz trucks almost half a century ago. Over the years, the plant and its majority share-holder and official FUSO distributor Juffali Commercial Vehicles has developed alongside the Kingdom, supplying rugged vehicles that have contributed to the now-burgeoning economy.

Saudi Arabia has been one of fastest-developing economies in the world in recent years, with the latest projections placing the GDP growth rate in 2022 at over 7%[1]. The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which strategically outlines a diversification away from oil exports, is driven in part by multiple infrastructure and urban development mega-projects. Included in the framework are new destinations for sustainable tourism, public transportation networks, and industrial parks targeting future technologies. While FUSO vehicles have been in the market since 1973, with these large-scale public investments, MFTBC expects its trucks to play an even more important role in Saudi Arabia in the years ahead.