TOKYO - Japanese truck manufacturer Nissan Diesel will change its name and brand image effective February 1, according to Engineering News.

Nissan Diesel Motor Company president Satoru Takeuchi on Jan. 26 announced that the company would be known as UD Trucks Corporation next month. The company logo and vehicle branding would also change to reflect the new identity, reported Engineering News.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Takeuchi said that this move would unify the company's current scattered identity under one global brand, while also increasing its visibility within its parent company, the Volvo group, which also sells Mack, Renault and Volvo trucks.

Nissan Diesel has, for example, long been known as UD Trucks in the U.S. and Australia, but is still called Nissan Diesel in South Africa. South Africa is Nissan Diesel's biggest export market outside Asia, representing one third of the company's sales here, with 2,372 units sold last year, according to Engineering News.

Nissan Diesel South Africa (NDSA) will change its name in September to reflect the Japanese company's identity switch, and would be known as UD Trucks South Africa, said NDSA president and CEO Johan Richards, adding the name change also serves to break ties with the Nissan brand.

Nissan has no shareholding in Nissan Diesel, even though Nissan Diesel does some assembly work for Nissan in Japan, reported Engineering News.

Nissan Diesel in Japan has an 80 percent shareholding in NDSA.

UD originally made reference to Nissan Diesel's uniflow diesel engine innovation, but morphed to become the symbol for 'ultimate dependability', according to Engineering News.