Big things on the horizon for Hino SA

Hino South Africa (SA) is on track to a fascinating future, with many exciting developments taking place during the course of 2019. These will include 11 key focus areas ranging from an organisational restructuring and fully supporting used vehicles and buy-backs, to the launch of numerous new products and services…   

As the company enters the new year, it does so off the back of a successful 2018. “By the end of 2018 the total truck market was up 4,6 percent. It was a positive story; for the first time in four years the truck market showed some growth,” comments Hino SA vice president, Ernie Trautmann.   

Hino SA’s own positive story includes a 6,7-percent increase in total sales, from 3 000 to 3 202 (which jumps to a staggering 17,3 percent and 3 681 to 4 318 when one includes the Dyna light truck).

Similarly, the company’s total market share increased from 11,4 percent to 11,6 percent. (Again, the Dyna boasted an impressive performance in the one-tonne cab-over segment, commanding a 19,2-percent market share over the previous year’s 9,5 percent.)

According to Trautmann, the growth in Hino sales within the heavy and extra-heavy segments of the market (up 19,3 and 8,9 percent, respectively) is thanks to last year’s introduction of the Hino 500 Wide Cab. He adds that buyers in these market segments are also becoming more discerning when choosing the type of transmission fitted to their vehicles.

“While the market is moving from manuals to automatics, we’re starting to see that manual gearboxes remain better suited to certain applications. However, the new automatics are so good that they match manuals in fuel consumption. Our customers also report less damage to automatic vehicles as the driver is able to concentrate more,” he notes.

As an aside, Trautmann notes that Hino’s driver training programme is paying off, too – having trained 662 drivers last year, its customers have reported a 30-percent decrease in damage and fuel savings from 14 percent upwards.

Boosting its market presence in 2019 will be the launch of the 500-Series Wide Cab 1627 Crew Cab in manual and, yes, automatic transmission.

However, 2019 will not be only about vehicles (even though Trautmann forecasts more increases for Hino across all segments). The company plans to launch numerous products and services aimed at offering better value and convenience to customers, as well as internal strategies to grow the brand into the future.

Among these will be the introduction of telematics, the launch of Hino Financial Services, the launch of new service and maintenance plans, and the implementation of buy-backs and a used-vehicle division.

“We want to sell maintenance plans aggressively into our 300 and 500 ranges and we have worked on these for the past 24 months,” says Trautmann.

From March all Hino SA employees will also begin a supply chain management course. “We want to understand our customers’ businesses and be consultants to them,” Trautmann says.

It’s this attitude that the company is applying to its long-term future as well. The company has embarked on a drive to recruit young talent into the business by 2020. By 2021 it will achieve Level-4 B-BBEE certification, and by 2025 it will have finalised its alternative-fuel strategy with HML and – if all goes according to plan – it will be selling 7 500 vehicles into the South African market each year.

“The future of Hino SA is all about connectivity and involvement in society, while providing sustainable values for our customers and society. We’ve already started putting measures in place to get there,” Trautmann concludes, hinting that there’s even more to come from Hino SA during 2019…

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