Nissan Motor and Nissan Diesel Motor are joining China's Dongfeng Motor Corp to develop midsize and heavy-duty trucks for the growing Chinese market. The first low-cost trucks will hit the highways as early as 2006, according to Japan’s Nihon Keizai newspaper.

China truck sales are believed to have topped one million units in 2002, making it at least four times the size of the shrinking Japanese market.

Nissan hopes to sell 330,000 commercial vehicles and 220,000 passenger vehicles by 2006, the paper said.