Sweden’s Scania said on Thursday it is the first foreign heavy truck maker to receive Japanese type approval, according to Dow Jones Business News.

The report said Scania’s business partner Hino Ltd. will market Scania in competition with domestic as well as imported brands.

“Hino’s introduction of a line of Scania trucks represents our firm entry into the Japanese market,” Scania president and CEO Leif Oestling said.

Dow Jones said sales of Scania two-axle tractor units, which will be distributed and serviced by the Hino organisation, commence on Thursday and series deliveries start in November.

“In the short term, we should be able to sell a hundred or more units annually,” Hino’s president and CEO Tadaaki Jagawa reportedly said.

Dow Jones said, at present, the Japanese market for tractor units in the segment in which Hino will offer its line of Scania trucks amounts to approximately 5,000 units annually and is dominated by domestic makes, with Hino accounting for 25%.

Together, western European truckmakers Volvo and DaimlerChrysler‘s Mercedes-Benz account for less than 10% of the market in this segment, the report added.

Dow Jones said Hino will be marketing three basic Scania tractor models for a wide range of applications, from container traffic to general freight and from normal height vehicles to low volume-slung vehicles.

Type approval of the R124 4×2 model – a two-axle tractor with a 12-litre, 440-hp engine – means that the vehicle complies with the same legal requirements as domestic manufacturers and thereby competes on equal terms. No other imported makes comply with these regulations, the report added.

Dow Jones noted that Scania and Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer Hino entered a strategic co-operation agreement in March 2002, with the aim of establishing a long-term business alliance in order to increase the market potential for both companies. The launch of a tractor at the Tokyo Motor Show 2002 for the Japanese market represented the first step in this process. Since May 2003, Scania has supplied about 10 units to selected Japanese customers for evaluation and adaptation.