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May 25, 2007

TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS

* Japan - Hino's Fourth-Quarter Profit Falls on Costs, Year-Earlier Gain
Tokyo,Japan -Bloomberg, by Naoko Fujimura & Kae Inoue-April 25, 2007: -- Hino Motors Ltd., half owned by Toyota Motor Corp., posted a 43 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings as the price of raw materials rose and it had a one-time gain from selling assets a year earlier... The company said rising prices of platinum, copper and resin used to make trucks and buses increased costs by 8 billion yen in the year just ended, while sales of assets boosted net income in the year-earlier period by 2.2 billion yen. Hino, Japan's largest maker of heavy-duty trucks, is trying to raise sales in overseas markets as the domestic truck market is shrinking...

* Japan - Hino May Build Truck Assembly Plant in Colombia for Tax Benefit
Tokyo,Japan -Bloomberg, by Chris Cooper -May 25, 2007: -- Hino Motors Ltd., Japan's largest maker of heavy-duty trucks, is considering building an assembly plant in Colombia to make vehicles at less than the cost of importing them from Japan... Hino's President Shoji Kondo seeks to catch up to rivals Isuzu Motors Ltd. and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. in sales of mid- and heavy-duty trucks that can haul more than 4 metric tons. More than half of Hino's sales in the last business year came from Japan, the company said in its April 25 earnings statement...

* Japan - Isuzu Motor Revamps Forward Trucks to Take on Hino
Tokyo,Japan -Bloomberg, by Naoko Fujimura -May 24, 2007: -- Isuzu Motors Ltd., Japan's biggest truckmaker, redesigned its mid-duty trucks for the first time in 13 years to compete with Hino Motors Ltd. and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp.... Isuzu plans to sell 15,000 mid-duty Forward trucks a year in Japan... The Forward is priced between 6.53 million yen ($53,700) and 10.2 million yen, excluding the cost of modifications... The new vehicle may help Isuzu compete in the mid-duty truck segment in Japan, where it lags behind Hino...

* Japan - Fuso Warned by Japan's Government on Failing Repairs
Tokyo,Japan -Bloomberg, by Naoko Fujimura -May 23, 2007: -- Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp., 85 percent owned by DaimlerChrysler AG, was warned by Japan's Ministry of Transport to improve operations after failures were found in auto parts the company recalled three years ago following a fatal accident... The truckmaker reported one fractured clutch housing and seven cases of cracks formed in the parts. No accidents involving injuries resulted from the eight cases, the ministry said...

* Sweden - Volvo Four-Month Truck Sales Drop 17% as U.S. Deliveries Plunge
Gothenburg,Sweden -Bloomberg, by Chad Thomas -May 24, 2007: -- Volvo AB, the world's second-largest truckmaker, said vehicle sales in the first four months of the year declined 17 percent as U.S. deliveries plunged after tougher emissions standards made trucks more expensive... Sales through the end of April fell to 60,536 vehicles worldwide from 72,661 trucks a year earlier... North American sales plummeted 57 percent to 9,964 units... Volvo said May 11 that first-quarter North American truck orders, an indicator of future sales, declined 80 percent to 5,273 vehicles...

* Brazil - Volkswagen May Hire 200 at brazilian Truck and Bus Unit
Sao Paulo,Brazil -Bloomberg, by Romina Nicaretta & Joao Oliveira -May 21, 2007: -- Volkswagen AG, Europe's largest carmaker, may add as many as 200 jobs at its truck unit in Brazil to boost output 21 percent by the end of the year... The division, which employs 3,700 people, is seeking to increase daily production to 200 units from 165 to meet rising demand in the domestic market, Antonio Roberto Cortes, president of the division, said today in an interview in Sao Paulo...

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