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Volvo’s UD Truck Unit Launches Quester Heavy Truck Brand for Emerging Markets


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Transport Topics / August 26, 2013

UD Trucks (formerly Nissan Diesel), part of the Volvo Group, announced Monday it has introduced a new heavy truck brand called Quester, developed specifically for emerging growth markets.

Volvo said the line will expand UD Trucks’ customer base and contribute to its truck strategy by boosting competitiveness and capturing growth opportunities in evolving markets.

It will provide a platform for a wide range of applications, including long-haul transportation, regional distribution, construction and mining, Volvo said.

Quester production will begin in the third quarter in Bangkok, Thailand. Besides serving the domestic Thai market, the plant will serve as an export hub for Southeast Asia (e.g. Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam) and beyond.

In the near future, the Quester range will be manufactured in China (with joint venture partner Dongfeng) for the Chinese market, and later in India, Volvo said.

“UD Trucks, with a proud and long-standing tradition of developing high-quality trucks for the Japanese market, has exported trucks to markets across Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East for many decades,” said Joachim Rosenberg, executive vice president of group trucks sales and marketing for Volvo’s Asia and Pacific region.

“However, we have never developed products for customers outside Japan. With Quester, we are entering a new era by introducing an all-new truck range, specifically designed for growth markets,” Rosenberg said in a statement.

Engines

8-liter GH8E

Horsepower Torque (N.m / ft.lb.)

220 850 / 627

250 1140 / 841

280 1190 / 878

330 1330 / 981

11-liter GH11E (rebadged Volvo D11, aka Mack MP7, Renault DTI11)

Horsepower Torque (N.m / ft.lb.)

370 1780 / 1313

390 1850 / 1364

420 2040 / 1505

Model Capacity Power (HP) Application

CKE 4x2 46,300lb GVW 220,250,280,330 Local distribution

CDE 6x2 68,343ln GVW 250,280,330 Local distribution

GKE 4x2 123,459 GCW 280,330,370,390,420 Tractor

GDE 6x2 123,459 GCW 280,330,370,390,420 Tractor or regional distribution rigid

GWE 6x4 176,370lb GCW 280,330,370,390,420 Tractor / Vocational

CWE 6x4 74,957 GVW 280,330,370,390,420 Dump / Mixer

CGE 8x4 90,390lb GVW 280,330,370,390,420 Construction / Mining

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Now one can see Volvo’s plans for the UD (Nissan Diesel) brand. Aside from Japan (and Australia?), Volvo hopes to make UD its low-price developing country truck. In developed countries, Volvo Group will promote the Volvo brand. Mack is largely limited to a handful of South American countries and Australia/NewZealand.

Irregardless of market location, the name “Quester” is bizarre (What was Volvo thinking?).

Whenever a truckmaker has a new product launch entirely supported by computer renderings (Photoshop) pictures rather than actual photographs...................

Press pictures of the interior are oddly limited, but the instrument panel and so forth appears cheap and uninviting.

The Quester has a version of the new Volvo “angry kitchen appliance” grille used on the new FH. Volvo calls it the “hexagon concept”.........I just call it distasteful.

The cab follows the typical Japanese market COE style with a very narrow bunk area. That fine for Japan, but a larger European/American style sleeping area is preferred everywhere else. If this cab was actually “all-new” as Volvo is promoting, rather than just a decontented version of the “Quon” heavy truck cab that it actually is, and designed for global markets outside of Japan, then it would have a larger sleeper compartment.

The Volvo T-Ride rear suspension is available, as well as Volvo’s planetary hub reduction drive axles.

Black steel fuel tanks are a big step backwards in time. Even on the Chinese tractors, aluminum fuel tanks became standard industry-wide years ago.

In 2012, UD only sold 21,348 trucks worldwide, down from 22,753 in 2011. Not impressive. Of these, 44% were sold in Japan, 28% in Southeast Asia (e.g. Malaysia, Indonesia), 17% in Africa, 4% in Oceania, 2% in North America, 1% in South America and 5% in other Asian markets.

Only Southeast Asia saw an increase in sales to 5,946 in 2012, up 5% from 5,687 units in 2011.

In Thailand where the Quester will initially be produced, Volvo projects heavy truck demand at 20,000 units annually. But last year, Volvo only sold 803 Volvo brand trucks and 137 UD brand buses and trucks. Thailand 2013 year-to-date sales (January thru August) remain abysmal, 530 for Volvo buses and trucks, and 340 UD trucks.

Rated at 220, 250, 280 and 330 horsepower, one wonders why Volvo hasn't yet fitted the Granite and Granite MHD with the modern new 8-liter UD-designed model GH8E powerplant so as to be more competitive in municipal and state bids?

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The Quester is more like the court Jester of trucks, about par for Volvo's interest in putting trucks in the market that will not only sell but meet the needs of the consumer. UD under Volvo's command are so over priced in the US & under appointed most customers who would have considered the UD instead customers in the medium duty market continue to flock to Navistar, Mitsubishi, Hino, Freightliner & Paccar's KW and Peerbilt offerings. All these other manufactures figured out quick that to sell a medium duty truck, it really needs to look like a medium duty truck. NOT class 8, with lighter parts & no power....

Richard Mark

Owner / Master Model Maker

Industrial Model Design
Ap40rocktruck

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The Quester is a decontented Quon. It uses the same cab shell as the Dongfeng Tianlong heavy truck which was developed by Nissan Diesel (UD) for Dongfeng. But whereas the Tianlong uses Dongfeng-produced drivetrain components like the 8.9/9.5L Cummins ISl and 11L Renault dCi, the Quester carries Volvo Group's UD logo and has a UD or Volvo powertrain, with available Volvo T-Ride and planetary hub-reduction rears.

The Volvo-Dongfeng marriage remains mired in the mud, as both companies have entirely different goals. If it was a marriage made in heaven, Volvo would be planning the export of jointly-badged Tianlong tractors to all those emerging markets, rather than creating a nearly identical new truck named the Quester. Volvo had mentioned exporting Dongfeng brand trucks worldwide as an enticement to Dongfeng to sign the joint venture agreement, but the Quester announcement is proof that Volvo has different plans. Volvo never actually wanted to sell Dongfeng trucks thru Volvo dealers.

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The Quester is a decontented Quon, not unlike the Dongfeng Tianlong which was developed by Nissan Diesel (UD) for Dongfeng. But whereas the Tianlong uses Dongfeng-produced drivetrain components like the 8.9/9.5L Cummins ISl and 11L Renault dCi, the Quester carries Volvo Group's UD logo and has a UD powertrain with available Volvo T-Ride and planetary hub-reduction rears.

The Volvo-Dongfeng marriage remains mired in the mud, as both companies have entirely different goals. If it was a marriage made in heaven, Volvo would be planning the export of jointly-badged Tianlong tractors to all those emerging markets, rather than creating the Quester. Volvo had mentioned doing that as an enticement to Dongfeng, but the Quester announcement is proof that Volvo has different plans. Volvo never actually wanted to sell Dongfeng trucks thru Volvo dealers.

I attempted to post a picture of the Dongfeng Tianlong for comparison, but I get the message "You have exceeded your allotted disk space for attachments ".

Send them to me & i will gladly post them for you.

Rick

Richard Mark

Owner / Master Model Maker

Industrial Model Design
Ap40rocktruck

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  • 4 years later...

UD Trucks adds heavy duty Quester (GVW40t) to Middle East line-up, aiming at expanding heavy truck market.

UD Trucks Press Release  /  August 8, 2018

· With the variation demanded in the Middle East introduced, UD Trucks will expand a heavy-duty market
· Robust, operationally-tested build withstands harsh driving conditions
· Positioned for growing construction-related demand

UD Trucks is adding a new 6x4 (rear-wheel two axis drive) variant “GVW40t” to its heavy duty, growth market oriented Quester range in the Middle East. With the new variant the company meets the precise needs of customers in a wide range of activities, and foresees increased sales.

Quester is UD Trucks’ first heavy duty truck developed specifically for growth markets. UD Trucks has  deployed its long experience and expertise in heavy duty trucks to develop the Quester concept of meeting market needs in all countries. Launched in the Middle East in 2016, Quester is praised for its highly durable chassis and its flexibility, together with customer sales support thanks to UD Trucks’ network.

The Quester making its debut now is the 6x4 (rear-wheel two axis drive) variant “GVW40t”. Its payload is larger than existing ones to meet the particular need of customers in the Middle East. Furthermore its flexibility allows a wide variety of truck bodies — not only a dump truck but also a concrete mixer, tanker and other variations are possible. It is the product of long and deep experience meeting customer needs in each country, combining Japanese quality and skills with Volvo Group's world-class technology.

The market for heavy duty trucks in the Middle East is stable thanks to infrastructure development and preparations for the Expo 2020 Dubai stimulating demand in the construction sector. With its new variant (single o, UD Trucks, which has been active in the Middle East since the beginning of the 1970s, is well-positioned to meet customer needs particularly in the construction-related sector.

Commenting on the new Quester variant, Mourad Hedna, Managing Director UD Trucks MEENA said: “The Middle East conditions are tough, with varied terrain, high temperatures and payloads. To ensure the new variant meet the needs of our customers, we conducted repeated road tests in real conditions. We are confident that the now complete range of Quester with its proven fuel-efficient engines and UD Trucks quality - will set ‎new standards of efficiency in the Middle East and other growth markets”.

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Couldn't sell trucks in North America, so they go to 'developing markets' in poor countries?  

In any event, I always thought UD should have been developed into a medium duty line for Volvo and Mack in North America.  

Volvo seems to think the road to success in the U.S. is through no medium duty product, significant overlap between their 2 North American brands, and most importantly, no dealers .  Genius!

 

 

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