Since being acquired by Mercedes, the Fuso Canter has been able to make more of a dent in the European market. Mercedes now owns almost 90% of the company, with Mitsubishi holding the rest of the shares. Fuso itself has been around since 1932, when it made its first bus. At that time, it was just a division of Mitsubishi, and the Fuso name was actually the suggestion of an employee in a competition to find a nickname for the rather more boringly named ‘B46’ bus. Fuso Motor Sales built its first truck in 1949. Now Fuso is responsible for spearheading Mercedes’ efforts in the light-truck sector under 8.55 tonnes gross vehicle weight. It is something that Fuso is pretty good at, with 140,000 Canters being built in Asia for international markets. In Europe, however, Canters are built at Tramagal in Portugal and sold in 30 European countries.
In total, more than four million Canters have been built since the first one rolled off the production lines in 1963. There might only be one truck name, but there are a lot of variants. There are Canter trucks from 3.5 to 8.5 tonnes, and then there are the 4×4 and the Eco Hybrid. There is also a good range of industry-specific attachments and bodies, so there is always a good chance of picking up a used Fuso Canter with the right features for your business. All told, there are two types of cab and six different wheelbases on offer, as well as three different gross vehicle weights. The Canter is also renowned for having a tight turning circle and a high payload, which is an excellent combination in a light truck. Newer models have the Eco Efficiency package, which has boosted fuel economy by around 9%. The Canter Eco Hybrid goes even further in being the world’s first commercially viable hybrid truck. This is not just a research project but is proven in daily use in thousands of trucks all over the world.
You will find Fuso Canters in a huge range of industry sectors. In fact, there will be a Canter anywhere that there is a need for an economical and efficient light truck. You will find Fuso Canter box vans employed in the busiest distribution routes, while dropsides trucks are at work in landscaping and construction. Special body conversions also have Fuso Canters hard at work in the municipal sector.
Today’s Fuso Canter range starts with the 3.5 tonne 3C13 model with a 96kW engine. It comes with the Comfort cab, which can be configured as standard with three seats or as a crew cab with six seats. It also comes in a choice of wheelbases, from 2,500mm to 3,850mm. The 8.5 tonne Fuso Canter 9C18 has a 129kW engine and comes as standard with the Comfort cab and three seats. Wheelbases increase from 3,400mm to 4,750mm. The Fuso Canter 4×4 has the same 129kW engine and a 6.5 tonne gross vehicle weight. Wheelbases are either 3,415mm or 3,865mm, and a crew cab is available as an option. The final Fuso Canter in the range is the Eco Hybrid. It has a 7.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, a 110kW engine and a three-seat cab. Wheelbase choice is 3,400mm or 3,850mm.