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2012 Set to be a notable year for Hino in South Africa
The following is excerpts from a speech by Dr Casper Kruger, Vice President for Hino SA, made during the launch of the Hino 300 in Gauteng
This year will be particularly notable for Hino in South Africa on a number of counts.
Firstly it marks the 40th anniversary of the arrival of Japan''s largest truck manufacturer in South Africa in 1972
Secondly it sees the arrival of a new range of SA''s top-selling medium truck, the Hino 300 Series.
It will also be a year which sees Hino providing even more added value for its customers, particularly in the realm of cutting operating costs.
When the first Hino truck was launched in South Africa by the still comparatively young Toyota SA Motors it was an unknown entity. It had to face up to many brands that had been in the local market for years and had strong customer bases and dealer networks.
Hino has not only stood the test of time in a country renowned for its arduous operating conditions, but the brand has grown to be one of the most respected and trusted in the country and a major seller. In fact it is No. 2 in total truck sales in SA and has been in that position for many years.
The company set a new annual sales record with the sale of 3 389 Hino trucks in 2011 despite restrictions on supply caused by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. This was the second consecutive year that Hino sales in SA had passed the 3 000 mark which cemented the company''s membership of the elite Hino 3000 Club, where the other current members are Thailand, United States, Australia, Indonesia and Pakistan.
One of the highlights of last year was the announcement of our HinoCare initiative which enables the company to increase service intervals on all Hino models as a major contributor to improving our all-important CPK (cost per kilometre) figures.
The lower operating costs are due mainly to the introduction of Hino Genuine Motor Oil, which permits the doubling of oil change intervals and hence downtime.
Hino has also made significant improvements to the warranty benefits for certain of our models. Cover for the 300 and 500 Series is now two years/unlimited kilometres, while the 700 Series warranty continues as one-year/unlimited kilometres with a drivetrain warranty for the second year or 300 000km.
Another important component of HinoCare is the 24/7 roadside assistance through a dedicated Hino call centre which includes vehicle towing if necessary.
So taken overall we believe Hino has made giant strides in further enhancing the customer experience with the introduction of HinoCare and will be looking to extend its scope even wider in the future.
A further contribution to customer peace of mind from Hino is the fact that all Hino trucks have been fitted with MicroDot anti-theft technology long before this became a legal requirement.
After all that good news let''s get on to one of the main reasons you are all here today and that is for the launch of the exciting new Hino 300 Series range of medium trucks.
This is undoubtedly one of the highlights of this year in terms of new model truck launches in South Africa is this introduction of the latest generation Hino 300, a brother to the Toyota Dyna. The Dyna was introduced locally in 1965 and migrated to the Hino 300 Series nomenclature in 2009. Sales 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 that the launch of the ninth generation Dyna/Hino 300 comes in the year that Hino SA celebrates the 40th anniversary of the arrival of this major Japanese truck brand in South Africa.
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 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 at this important show. All the markets in Africa are important for Hino Motors but South Africa is by far the 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 crew cab 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.
It has more interior space with excellent visibility for the driver and passengers. The interior is completely restyled with many useful storage areas and a very attractive and legible instrument panel. Electric windows, air conditioning, a transponder key security system and a radio/CD player are standard on all models in the range.
Engines are improved versions of the Euro 3 Hino power units that are more economical and have lower emissions.
The previous 611 model, which had an 81kW (110 hp) power unit, now becomes the 614 and gets the 100kW (140 hp) version of the 4-litre engine. This same engine which produce s 392Nm of torque, is also fitted to the 714 and 814 derivatives, while the 815 and 915 models have 110kw (150 hp) version of the same engine.
The big news is the introduction of a conventional six-speed automatic transmission in addition to 5- and 6-speed manual gearboxes. This box is unique in the sense that if offers full lock up in every gear to optimise power delivery and fuel consumption.
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. Certain models in the range now offer disc brakes up front and drums at the rear, with anti-skid ABS braking.
In conclusion you will note that the Hino 300 was carefully designed to best serve the driver and vehicle owner and offer the best possible operating environment to the ultimate benefit of the vehicle''s operating costs.