Nissan Diesel, the Japanese medium and heavy duty commercial vehicle maker, has said that its output, sales and exports will all grow this year. The upbeat assessment is based on an improving US economic situation and the need for customers in Japan to upgrade their fleets with lower emission vehicles.

The company expects overall production to increase 11 percent to 26,800 units in 2002, while sales are seen rising 7.2 percent to 28,100 vehicles. Nissan Diesel, which is 22.5 percent owned by Renault SA, expects almost two thirds of that to come from domestic sales.

Company spokesman Yasuyuki Okumura is quoted in the report as saying that new emissions regulations, effective May 2003, will encourage customers to swap old trucks for new ones that conform to the new standards. Exports to the US are expected to pick up when the US recovers from 'around September' of this year.

Other truckmakers, including Isuzu Motors Ltd. and Hino Motors Ltd. also expect sales to rise this year.