For Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA), 2013 was a challenging year. Its flagship Canter product line entered its fourth model year in need of enhanced features.
Dealers addressed early engine programming issues that resulted in a significant decline in sales.
In 2014, the brand is on the comeback trail. Toward the end of 2013, the truck maker resolved the programming issues, and earlier this year introduced the 2015 Canter Class 3 FE130, a new and improved FE125 replacement.
While the cabover audience is typically a smaller medium-duty market segment among Class 3 customers than those who use traditional cabs, loyal buyers seek out the trucks for their maneuverability and visibility, said Todd Bloom, MFTA's president and CEO.
"You're constantly looking at how you can make that truck more attractive to the audiences you're dealing with," Bloom said. "So we're constantly hearing feedback from our customers."
The FE130 offers several upgrades, including an additional 700 pounds of payload capacity from 12,500 pounds to 13,200 pounds GVW. Individual axle ratings for the FE130 come in at 5,360 pounds in front and 9,880 pounds in the rear.
Four wheelbases will be offered. The new Canter extends the truck's standard wheelbase to 169.3 inches, which will allow the installation of 20-foot bodies. The new truck was introduced at NTEA's Work Truck Show in early March and is now arriving at dealer lots.
"One of the biggest improvements is the smoother shift mapping for the transmission," said David Hayes, sales manager for South Bay Fuso in Hawthorne, Calif. "Also, it comes with a low oil pressure engine protection system. This would help to give a business owner some comfort, to avoid an engine loss."
The truck's increased capacity will benefit delivery fleets who haul bulk rather than weight, including items such as bread, soda, beer, glass, produce, or mulch.
Mitsubishi Fuso continues offering its five-year, 150,000-mile warranty covering everything including the turbocharger, water pump, and electronic control module.
By Paul Clinton