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Celebrating 60th anniversary of light-duty Canter

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Daimler Truck Southern Africa reveals 60 FUSO Canter FE7-136

• This year marks 60 years since FUSO Trucks first introduced its legendary Canter model in 1963
• Highly acclaimed in Japan and overseas, the Canter is sold in over 70 countries worldwide
• Since its first debut in the South African market in the 1980s, the renowned Canter has built a strong name for itself in the light-duty segment

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – 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.

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.

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.

“2023 is indeed an extraordinary year for us as we celebrate a significant trucking milestone, one that is firmly entrenched in our rich global history. I am proud to say that the last 60 years of Canter have been nothing but an exemplification of our steadfast commitment to our valued customers to ensure reliable mobility solutions and excellent value for money. Since its first market entrant in the early 1980s, the Canter has played an integral part in our FUSO Trucks brand success story in South Africa and has deservingly earned its status among customers and drivers alike as the “light gallop” in the light-duty segment. The next 60 years of Canter are exciting and worth looking forward to, as we cast our eyes towards adapting to the rapid shift in the commercial vehicles industry of electrification and connectivity”, concludes Michael Dietz, President & CEO Daimler Truck Southern Africa. 


Daimler Truck Southern Africa Group of Companies at a glance:

Since the invention of the truck over 125 years ago, Daimler Truck AG has been a pioneer in the commercial vehicle sector and is today one of the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers. Established in South Africa over 60 years ago, Daimler Truck Southern Africa Ltd together with its subsidiaries Daimler Truck Financial Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Sandown Motor Holdings (Pty) Ltd provides an optimal experience for our esteemed customers based on a comprehensive products and services portfolio. The Group’s success is based on its leading brands inclusive of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Buses, FUSO Trucks in addition to offering parts and services for Freightliner and Western Star Trucks. Its product range is backed by its market-leading value-added services in Fleetboard, TruckStore, TruckTraining, and Financial Services. With a Southern African footprint that includes South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, the company is headquartered in Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa, and all its products are assembled locally in its East London production plant.


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Lisanda Mcetywa
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