Isuzu may hold the current title of being the world's largest heavy truck maker, and Daimler dominates the North American and European markets, having one-third of the North American market through its Freightliner and Western Star brands, and 22 percent market share in Europe. But their position at the top of the truck market may not be the case for much longer, if an alliance between Volvo and China's Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles goes through.
Pending approval from Chinese authorities, the proposed joint-venture is expected to be officially approved a year from now. Volvo will acquire a 45-percent interest in the recently formed Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles subsidiary worth $829 million.
Volvo sold 180,000 units in 2011, making it the third-largest global truckmaker for the year by volume, with Dongfeng taking second place with 186,000 units sold. Economies of scale are expected to be realized in chassis, component and powertrain purchasing.
Management of the Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles group will be split between Volvo and Dongfeng representatives, with the management team consisting of four members each from Volvo and Dongfeng. The board of directors will consist of seven members, four chosen by Dongfeng, and three chosen by Volvo.