Volkswagen's truck unit will return to Japan by the end of 2012 because of rising demand driven by post-earthquake reconstruction.

The Scania unit entered the Japanese market in 2002 under a joint venture with Hino but pulled out last year because of a fall in sales.

Scania, which is strong in alternative fuel trucks, intends to sell vehicles that weigh 16 tonnes or more and models that run on natural gas and biofuels.

It plans to establish its own sales sites in Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido while after-sales service will be outsourced to independent dealerships and maintenance companies. The VW group will offer financing.

VW plans to take advantage of a proliferation of natural gas stations along Japanese highways and a developing biofuel supply infrastructure. The group also plans to offer diesel models and sell at least 1,000 trucks annually in five years.