Ernie Trautmann, vice president of Hino South Africa, is very bullish about the future prospects of Hino SA in terms of its ability to grow sales volumes and market share in a fairly static market, as well as the company and its dealers being able to further enhance the customer experience.
Having well-trained front-line staff in the dealerships is a priority and here Hino SA is already recruiting people to be part of the 2019 Hino learnership programme, which is a follow-up to the successful 2017 course, when 13 learners graduated as Hino sales executives.
The hunt is now on for 15 learners for next year’s course with dealers keen to nominate learners from their ranks. It is expected that there will also be some learners from other Hino distributors in Africa.
Another key to improving sales is the strong relationship between Hino and Toyota Financial Services, which has dedicated truck specialists, already finances more than 30% of Hino SA’s sales.
The finance house is currently re-evaluating its offerings in service and maintenance plans with a dedicated person driving an aggressive programme which has an initial target of having one of these plans linked to 25% of sales in the short term.
Another development which will have future benefits is the launch of a Hino transport and logistics programme involving staff at the Hino SA head office and at the dealers. Those completing the course successfully will have a fully accredited qualification as transport consultants.
Hino SA is also partnering with a local company to develop a telematics programme which will be tailored for local operating conditions and will be affordable. The plan is to have a basic system fitted as standard on all trucks, with customers having a list of options from which to choose to meet specific customer needs.
“We believe we are covering all the bases in planning the way forward for Hino in South Africa and, most importantly, we will be building on solid foundations as we forge ahead,” says Trautmann.