The overpowering Japanese yen, currently so strong against other currencies that Japanese automakers are calling on their government to do something about it, has claimed a victim in UD trucks' North American operations (UDNA).

A decline in UD market share over the past few years has been further troubled by the strength of the currency, which caused the price of the trucks to climb above that of the competition. The president of UDNA notified dealers by letter that the 300 or so trucks remaining in inventory will be sold and that orders could be placed for 2013-model-year vehicles until October 15, but production capacity was limited and orders would be built on a first-come first-serve basis.

The move puts an end to 27 years of medium-duty cab over engine (COE) haulers from the company, begun when Nissan Diesel America set up shop here in 1984 to sell its Uniflow Diesel-powered trucks. UDNA was hit especially hard by the financial crisis, and importing its trucks from Japan meant its offerings carried five-digit price premiums over rival trucks; two comparisons yielded differences of $11,000 and $18,000 in favor of competitors.

UDNA's move comes toward the end of a long retreat of Japanese truck makers from the North American COE market. The remaining players in COE Classes 6 and 7 are Kenworth and Peterbilt, but their trucks are rebranded vehicles made by a European company and built in Mexico. As for UDNA truck owners, the president did state that warranty and parts service will not be affected by the departure.


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  • 13 Comments
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the sound of me not caring.
        Daniel D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Thanks for taking the time to care enough to tell us you don't care.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they had built their trucks here, the rise in the Yen would have been mostly a non-issue for these guys.
        DrKGS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Haven't done any research on it, but I would bet they sell products in other markets as well, and that North America isn't their biggest market. COE designs are not as popular here as elsewhere.
          Robert Ryan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DrKGS
          Correct. The MDT market is not that healthy in the US, but it is going like Gandbusters in Asia and elsewhere.
          Hazdaz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DrKGS
          Even if NA wasn't their largest market, the Yen is still high against pretty much all other currencies. Building in Japan and exporting to almost anywhere would still be cutting pretty badly into their profits.
      Klink
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stupid AutoBlog. Did ya forget about Hino?
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      Then there were two Fuso vs. Isuzu, lets see who reigns supreme.
      Carlos Cruz
      • 2 Years Ago
      "but their trucks are rebranded vehicles made by a European company" Their Cab Over trucks are engineered by DAF, which is a subsidiary of Paccar either way. Before this though VW built their Cab Overs in the 90's.
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