Super Group has opened a flagship Hino dealership in Isando on a site ideally placed in the industrial and commercial hub of Gauteng. Named simply Hino Isando, this is the 22nd exclusive dealership in the Hino network of 64 dealers and the cost of the development – excluding the land – is in excess of R25-million.
The dealership has been operating since last November but the official opening only took place on April 21st, 2015. However, the importance of the event was evidenced by the attendance of Junsuke Ando, general manager of Hino Motors’ Africa and Europe Division who told the assembled guests that although the majority of Hino sales take place in Japan and South-East Asia, the continent of Africa is a region showing rapid growth with high potential.
Junsuke added that Hino recognises there will be no Hino global success without Hino success in South Africa. “For this reason we are delighted that a high profile public company such as the Super Group has made a substantial investment in a new Hino dealership.”
Hino Isando is currently staffed by 17 people but this number is planned to grow to 35 as the dealership gains sales and service momentum. The facility has six double work spaces making 12 bays and there is space for another six double bays for future development. There is an extensive parts stock on site and this is replenished at least twice a day.
The workshop facility is equipped to undertake Certificate of Fitness (COF) testing but is still awaiting full accreditation to conduct COF inspections. It also has an express pit lane to minimise downtime for urgent work when required. The facility is already eco-friendly in that all the lights are movement-sensor-controlled and plans are in place to recycle rain water for the wash bay.
What FleetWatch really likes about this facility is the fact that it has a brake roller tester installed which, according to dealer principal Patrick Arthur, is being well used. “We are extremely safety conscious and every vehicle that gets serviced has to go over the brake roller tester,” he told FleetWatch.
And what if the client asks for his vehicle to be released even if it has faulty brakes? “I will call the traffic authorities and they will stop it right outside these premises. Brakes are safety critical items and we cannot compromise when it comes to saving lives,” he said.
FleetWatch lifts its hat to Arthur on that approach for there is enough evidence to show that far too many trucks are out driving on our roads with faulty brakes – many with no brakes at all – with often disastrous and tragic consequences. We’ve seen it on our Brake & Tyre Watch exercises and it is of serious concern.
Also welcome is the fact that Hino Isando will be doing services on trailers. All too often fleet owners will send the truck tractor in for a service and leave the trailer languishing in the depot yard. FleetWatch technical correspondent Dave Scott once wrote that trailers are the most neglected fleet in the country. He’s right and again, the results and finding on our Brake & Tyre Watch exercises show this to be true.
One person who welcomes this is Bernard Basson, logistics manager of International Slab Sales who runs a fleet of Hino trucks for his local operations and Scanias for his long haul trailer operations.
Chatting to Basson at the opening, he explained that as a wholesale supplier of quartz, granite, marble and sintered compact surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms, his company prides itself on giving clients the best possible service and as such, cannot afford to have downtime of the fleet.
“With this in mind and given our current economic times, Hino Isando is conveniently closer to our company and not only do they offer excellent rates in servicing my local Hino fleet, but they can also service my long distance trailer fleet. This on its own brings my costs down making it a viable decision to move over to them,” he says, adding that he has no qualms and doesn’t hold any fault against any of his other suppliers. “It is purely a case of economics and convenience.”
Talking at the opening ceremony, Calvyn Hamman, senior vice president, sales and marketing of Toyota SA Motors, of which Hino SA forms a part, complimented the commitment from Super Group through Graeme Watson, chief executive officer, and Alistair Rawstorne, chief operating officer and expressed appreciation for the strategy and planning put into place by Roelf Strydom, franchise executive for the Toyota Group within Super Group and Patrick Arthur, dealer principal, in bringing this new dealership to life.
What FleetWatch really likes about this new facility is that it has a brake roller tester installed which, according to dealer principal Patrick Arthur, is being well used with every truck being brake tested as a matter of course.[/caption]“This is a further example of confidence in the Hino brand as last year we had the renaming of Hino Pretoria North to Hino Tshwane and relocation to spacious new premises in Pretoria West as well as the appointment of a Hino dealer in Cradock which was an open point we were happy to fill. In addition most of our dealers have either rebuilt or substantially refurbished their facilities over the past three years so we believe we are now well set for future growth,” said Hamman.