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New Hino 300 Series Launch is Highlight in SA Trucking Year
The launch of the new Hino 300-Series medium truck range is undoubtedly one of the highlights of 2012 in terms of new model truck launches in South Africa as it is the most popular medium truck in South Africa bar none.
The Hino 300 is brother to the Toyota Dyna that was introduced locally in 1965.Combined sales for this range of product has already exceed 85 000 units and it has been the top seller in the medium truck market for the past 27 years.
It is a happy coincidence for Hino SA that the launch of the ninth generation Hino 300 comes in the year that the company celebrates the 40th anniversary of the arrival in South Africa of this major Japanese truck brand.
The launch of the new Hino medium truck range is an important event in its own right for the Hino dealers and their many medium truck customers. It will also make competition in this segment even tougher for its rivals as the range is expanded to eight models to cater for even wider customer needs.
Hino SA gave a sneak preview of the new range at the Johannesburg Truck & Bus show at Expo Centre last October. The occasion was seen as so important for the company that the president of Hino Motors Ltd. in Japan, Yoshio Shirai, made the trip to SA especially so he could be present.
South Africa is the first country outside Japan to get the new Hino 300 Series for local assembly and that is why the Hino senior executive arranged his schedule to be at the unveiling of the all-new 300-Series models at this important show.
All the markets in Africa are important for Hino Motors but South Africa is by farthe most important in view of its size and high growth potential in coming years.
South Africa is also a very important market for the leading Japanese truck manufacturer in terms of feedback to assist our product development engineers in improving the range of Hino trucks and gaining input for new models. This helps them to maintain competitiveness in this demanding market.
The new 300 Series line-up includes both wide and narrow cabs, as well as a crewcab derivative for the first time. There is a strong family resemblance to the 500 and 700 Series models in the design of the cab, which is also more aerodynamic than the previous range due to an angled profile.
There are larger door openings with larger footsteps to make entry and egress easier.The new cab has more interior space with excellent visibility for the driver and passengers. The seat slides have an increased range and inclined rails accommodate a greater range of occupant heights, suiting persons between 147 - 203cm in height.
The steering wheel can be tilted and telescoped to obtain the preferred driving position. The retractable gear lever - for manual and auto models - allows the driver to easily move across the cabin.
The interior is completely restyled with many useful storage areas and a very attractive and legible instrument panel. Electric windows, air conditioning and a radio/CD player are standard on all models in the range. There is transponder key-operated central locking. There is a separate air conditioning unit for the rear seat passengers in the crew cab, who also have the convenience of bottle holders.
A great deal of attention has been paid to sound deadening and wind noise reduction for a quieter cabin.
All models in the range use the same basic 4-litre turbo diesel engine with common rail technology and direct injection. They are improved versions of the Euro 3 Hino power units used in the previous 300-Series range, but are even more economical with lower emission levels.
The previous 611 model, which had an 81kW (110 hp) power output, now becomes the 614 and gets the 100kW (140 horsepower) version of the engine. This same variant of the N04C engine, which produces 392Nm of torque, is also fitted to the 714 and 814 derivatives, while the 815 and 915 models use a 110kW (150 hp) version of the power unit.
The big news is the introduction of a conventional six-speed automatic transmission in addition to 5- and 6-speed manual gearboxes. The automatic transmission is available in the 815 LWB and 815 crew cab models and offers a lock-up function in all gears for more efficient operation. The 613, 714 and 814 models have the five-speed gearbox, with six speeds for the 915 LWB.
Safety has been prioritised and the Hino 300 Series will be the first medium truck on the local market to have standard airbags with seatbelt pre-tensioners for the driver and passenger. There are now disc brakes up front and drums at the rear, with anti-skid ABS braking, while the tyres are now tubeless.
Both outer rear view mirrors are partitioned to provide better visibility, with areas that are not displayed in the one half able to be seen in the other. High intensity discharge headlamps provide excellent night vision, being more than twice as bright as the halogen bulbs used previously.
An engine immobiliser, linked to the central locking system, is an important additional security measure. The system uses a transponder embedded in the key that send an identity signal to the engine management system. It prevents the engine starting if the key transmits a code other than the preregistered code for that specific vehicle.
Service intervals for all models is 20 000km, with a warranty for 24 months with unlimited kilometres also applicable to the whole range.