Africa – and particularly South Africa – are important markets for Hino in its quest for increased growth in its truck sales worldwide. This situation was spelled out clearly by the chairman of the board of Hino Motors Limited, Masakazu Ichikawa, who was visiting South Africa to attend the opening of Hino SA’s new manufacturing plant in Durban.
Ichikawa said there has been increasing focus on the sale of Hino trucks and buses outside of Japan and there are now four plants in Japan and 19 other facilities worldwide – one of which is the new plant in Durban – producing trucks to support growing global targets.
“The majority of Hino’s sales are made in Japan and South-East Asia but we recognise the importance of African markets as they are showing rapid growth and have high potential.
“The South African market is particularly challenging with major brands from Europe, the USA, Japan, China, India and Korea competing for a comparatively small number of sales,” said Ichikawa, adding that he is confident the new truck plant will be a base for further expansion of the brand in South Africa.
Ichikawa said global sales in 2013 reached a record high of 162 00 units of which 48 000 trucks and buses were sold in Japan, which remains the largest individual market where Hino holds a share of more than 28%. A further 114 000 units were sold outside Japan, which represents about 70% of the global total.
Last year Hino SA sold a record 3 461 units, which put it in ninth place among countries outside Japan and the Hino chairman said he was pleased to hear that higher targets are being set for the future.
The Hino senior executive went on to relate how his company had recently launched Hino Total Support, a programme which emphasises how the company’s success depends on “relationships rooted in mutual trust between Hino dealers, Hino SA and Hino Motors, Japan”, as a foundation to provide “best-fit” products for customers and to be the conduit for Total Support in sales and service marketing to the benefit of Hino truck operators
This programme focuses on “Customer Business First” and aims to contribute to the business requirements of customers not only at the time of the sale of a truck but throughout the lifetime of a Hino product.
“We will continuously foster and build trust with our customers by committing to two values, with the first being 100% uptime and the second being to minimise vehicle lifetime costs. We will spare no effort to be recognised as the customer’s partner of choice by deepening and expanding the extent of our combined will to make a positive contribution to our customers’ business,” added Ichikawa.
FleetWatch totally supports this concept for this is what trucking is all about: Minimising lifetime costs and maximising lifetime relationships.