Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and BUS Corporation has announced that the local assembly of knock-down (KD) Canter trucks has started for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

The assembly of the trucks is taking place in a facility operated by National Automobile Industries (NAI), a joint venture between general distributor Juffali Commercial Vehicles and Daimler Truck AG.

Local operations for the FUSO Canter began with four variants of the 6.5-tonne FE84 and three of the 7.2-tonne FE85. Equipped with the 4D33 engine, the light-duty truck serves industries such as fast moving consumer goods and food distribution.

Mitsubishi says the Canter has been successfully sold in the Saudi market due to the range’s durability and reliability – necessary qualities to match ‘the demanding conditions of the region’.

On an average year, several thousand units of light-duty trucks are sold in Saudi Arabia alone. Further supported by a full range of light- to heavy-duty trucks and light-duty buses, the market is also among the largest for the FUSO brand in the MENA region in terms of unit sales, second only to the United Arab Emirates.

The KD kits for the FE84 and FE85 are exported out of the MFTBC Kawasaki Plant and shipped to the NAI facility in Jeddah, the second largest city in the country.

Saudi Arabia is described by Mitsubishi as one of fastest-developing economies in the world. The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which strategically outlines a diversification away from oil exports, is driven in part by multiple infrastructure and urban development mega-projects. Included in the framework are new destinations for sustainable tourism, public transportation networks, and industrial parks targeting future technologies. While FUSO vehicles have been in the market since 1973, with these large-scale public investments, Mitsubishi-Fuso says it expects its trucks to play an even more important role in Saudi Arabia in the years ahead.