What’s happening at Hino
The Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) is not only providing the perfect platform to launch new products. It’s also a stage from which to make positive statements – as evidenced on the busy Hino stand.
According to the executive vice-president responsible for Hino’s overseas operation, Koichi Ojima, the company is increasing its focus on the African market. “Hino sold a record 154 000 units globally in 2012, of which 42 000 were sold in Japan and the remainder in overseas markets,” he points out.
Ojima continues: “Our largest sales volume comes from South-East Asian markets, but we realise that countries on the African continent are growing in importance for vehicle manufacturers due to the booming economies and rapid GDP growth rate.”
He adds that the company is well established in South Africa, having arrived here 41 years ago, and it is very pleased with the performance of the brand in this important market.
Meanwhile, Casper Kruger, vice president of Hino South Africa, has revealed at JIMS that the truck plant at the Toyota SA Motors manufacturing complex in Prospecton (near Durban) is to be relocated to a nearby site during the plant shutdown at the end of the year. The current facility will then be used solely for the assembly of the Toyota Ses’fikile minibus taxi. The relocation of the assembly of Hino and Dyna trucks to a dedicated facility will cost almost R50 million, which adds substance to the company’s promise to honour growth in the local industry.
And the dealers are also doing their bit. “An impressive 43 percent of our Hino dealers have either invested in or are currently investing in new or upgraded facilities,” Kruger points out. “The total investment over a four-year period will exceed R1 000 million. What is important is that the decision to renew or upgrade facilities was made generally by the dealers themselves with little urging from us.”
Of course, there are also numerous fabulous products on display on the Hino stand. These include modles from the Hino 700-, 500- and 300-Series ranges as well as the Toyota-badged Dyna.
An important new addition to the 700-Series range of extra-heavy trucks is an 8×4 model which is well suited to various applications in the construction industry – such as a tipper, mixer or heavy-duty freight carrier.
A second 700-Series model on display is the flagship 2848 model – a medium- to long-haul truck-tractor with a gross combination mass (GCM) of 65 000 kg and a 358 kW (480 hp) engine. It has a double sleeper cab and the option of air or steel suspension, while the ZF Astronic transmission is standard.
The popular Hino 500-Series is represented by the 500 FL, a 6×2 freight carrier that will also be the first model in this series to have a Euro-4 engine.
The Hino 300 is represented by the Crew Cab, with a fully automatic six-speed transmission and a very high standard specification, as well as the new Hino 300 bus – a medium-sized commuter bus with a seating capacity from 25 to 37 seats.