In a move which is being seen as part of the on-going restructuring of the Japanese auto industry, Nissan Diesel has said it will end cooperation with Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd (maker of Subaru cars) on bus platforms. The heavy duty truck maker currently produces bus platforms for use by Fuji Heavy.

The company said in a statement that it would end its ties with Fuji Heavy, 20 percent owned by General Motors Corp (GM), by the business year beginning in April 2003.

Nissan Diesel, owned 22.5 percent each by Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Renault SA, said that from 2003/04 it would consolidate all bus assembly work at Nishi-Nippon Shatai Kogyo Co, a Fukuoka-based subsidiary of Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co Ltd.

“In the midst of the continuing slump in demand for domestic buses, the streamlining of our bus body operations has become an urgent matter,” Nissan Diesel said in a statement.

Nissan Diesel said at a news conference that it was aiming to have its loss-making bus operations in the black in 2003/04.

Fuji Heavy, which broke away from an affiliation with Nissan when it came under the umbrella of GM, said in a statement that its results would be unaffected by the move.

The troubled Japanese truck sector has recently been the focus of share price jitters. The uncertain fate of the nation’s debt-ridden truck makers such as Isuzu Motors and Nissan Diesel has seen share prices tumble.