FUSO Tramagal Plant Celebrates 60 Years of Manufacturing Trucks

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Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its plant at Tramagal, Portugal.

The MFTE plant is the largest employer in the region and in 2023, approximately 11,800 trucks were built and delivered to customers establishing the facility’s all-time production record.

The Tramagal Plant’s Production History

In the 60 years since production began, more than 260,000 units have been manufactured in Tramagal – including FUSO’s light-duty Canter, which the plant started producing in 1980. Today, the vehicles assembled at MFTE are shipped to 32 European markets.

The facility in Tramagal was founded in 1964 as a joint venture of the family-run Portuguese firm Duarte Ferreira and the former French truck manufacturer Berliet.

Operations began with CKD assembly (completely knocked down) including the FUSO brand in 1980.

In the following years, it assembled the FUSO Canter light-duty truck for the Portuguese market, as well as the medium-duty FUSO truck, the Mitsubishi Motor’s L 200 pick-up truck, the L 300 van, and the Pajero SUV.

In 1990, the plant was acquired by the Portuguese import company Mitsubishi Motors Portugal.

In 1996, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation took over the plant and decided to focus production on the FUSO Canter. It became part of Daimler AG in 2004 after the automaker acquired the majority share of MFTBC.

In 2017, the facility began producing FUSO’s first battery-electric eCanter in series production for European markets. This continues to the present with the new eCanter.

 

A role model for sustainable production

Since 2022, the Tramagal plant has achieved CO2 neutrality in its operations, thanks to the on-site generation of green electricity and other measures. The plant aims to become a climate-positive facility by continuously improving its ecological strategy. contributing to the reduction of more CO2 emissions from the atmosphere than those emitted by the plant’s operations.

Another measure MFTE is taking towards sustainability is reducing its water consumption. Their new water treatment plant treats more than 60 percent of process water and returns it to the production cycle.

 

Employer of choice for generations of workers

At the Tramagal plant, it is not uncommon for employment to span generations in a family, extending to a third and in some instances even a fourth generation.

“We witness a lot of changes over time, but in the end, we are still here making trucks”, said Paulo

Simão, Head of Procurement whose grandfather and father worked at the plant. Currently, his son, Miguel Simão, works in maintenance.

This is because MFTE focuses on developing its employees by providing new skills as the industry transitions.

Last year, MFTE announced its partnership with the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, Portugal to provide training for its staff.

The new training program seeks to provide career prospects for young professionals in the region by bolstering their knowledge of emobility and production engineering. This program will start in the second half of 2024.