Why haven't Asian and European truck manufacturers

made the inroads into the American big truck market the way those manufacturers have into the automobile and small truck markets? And do American manufacturers of big trucks (e.g. Mack) sell many overseas? If not, why n ot?

In a way, they have. The top three heavy truck manufacturers are multinationals which own several brands in different countries. Mack is owned by Volvo, Freightliner by Daimler AG:


The third place, PACCAR, is an American outfit which owns Kenworth and Peterbilt. You will note that also own the European DAF and Leyland brands.

I’ve seen European makes on the roads here.

About 10% of the new truck tractors sold in the US are Volvo.

There are a bunch of smaller (furniture delivery sized) box trucks made by Japanese & German maufacturers. I couldn’t find a market share number quickly, but I’d bet it’s at least 20 & maybe 30%.

Not sure your premises hold up.

Trucks in Japan, at least, are significantly smaller than US ones. They look about the same but the truck and the cargo container (or whatever the hauled part is) are probably 70% smaller. I suspect that European trucks are smaller as well. And since you really sort of want to maximize the volume that you’re trucking, there isn’t a benefit to having a smaller vehicle to sell, unlike you can when you’re selling to the average person for personal transportation.

Certainly you could develop a larger vehicle for a foreign market, but it’s going to be more likely that you’d simply buy your way in.

Toyota’s got the Tundra, Nissan has the Titan, Honda has some ugly thing I can’t remember the name of. I know that at least in the south, the Tundra does quite well.

Mack is owned by Volvo who is owned by Ford?

Those are full-sized pickup trucks. I believe the OP was talking about “large trucks” as in semis, box trucks, etc. Hence the reference to Mack.

The Volvo in this case is the Volvo group, which makes trucks, buses and construction equipment. The car business was sold to Ford in 1999:


HINO, a Toyota company, is also a North American truck brand. They had 15% market share of the class 6 (19,501-26,000 lb) segment and 3% of the class 7 (26,001-33,000 lb) segment in 2007.

I think trucks and buses in other countries are somewhat smaller and more compact , probably due to narrower roads etc.

I do not remember seeing huge American MACK trucks in Europe or China.

I do not think I have seen American buses in Europe or in China but I have seen plenty of Spanish Irizar in Europe and China (they have a factory in China).

ohhhh. Nevahmind.

I know of at least one Iveco dealer (see the list from the Wikipedia page posted by yabob) in the San Francisco area.


Truck maker Mitsubishi Fuso is almost wholly owned by Daimler (which sold their stake in Mitsubishi Motors, the passenger car maker). Within the Daimler group they fill the role of building light and medium trucks for developing markets (SE Asia, Africa, ME, Latin America and E. Europe), and have been doing pretty well at it. Bigger trucks and bigger markets are handled by other group companies. They do a little bit in the NAFTA market, but mostly that’s through tie-ups with US-based Sterling (Also a member of Daimler).

European tractors are the same size as stateside (height and width). The big seven Mfgs you see on the road are: Volvo, Scania, DAF, MAN, IVECO, Renault, and Mercedes. The European tractors are shorter; usually only one tandem drive axle and no gigantic sleeper box that you see on some custom trucks in the US. They have sleepers but usually more modest. They are shorter coupled to the trailers (reduced overall length) to accommodate the smaller roads / tighter turns and better aerodynamics. The trailers tend to have three axles rather than the two tandem axles in the US and are generally not adjustable for wheelbase.

One plus for driving in Europe is that the trucks are tightly monitored for speed and what lanes they can use on the “interstate” highways.

I see an increasing number of Hyundai *trailers *on the road now, but so far there are no Asian truckmakers selling in the US.

I thought cargo containers were globally standardized–the whole point is that they can go from factory to truck to ship to train to truck without ever needing to be opened, hardly. Is that not true?

ISO containers are indeed standardized and there are flatbed trailers which can carry these but normal trailers are not flatbed, they are their own “box” and have to be loaded/unloaded with forklifts.

But presumably the trucks in Japan have to be at least big enough to haul a flat bed big enough to carry an ISO container.

I see quite a few Isuzu on the road. I don’t know if you count them as “big,” they aren’t Mack-sized, but are box trucks used commercially.

I don’t recall ever seeing something shipping container sized going down the street. My guess would be that they use a train to transport containers most of the way, then break them down into smaller trucks when they get close enough to the target destination.

And possibly, internally, they use smaller ISO containers.

I really don’t know.