Hino trucks the automatic choice

The fully automatic transmissions available as an option on Hino trucks in South Africa are proving very popular with customers.

Launched first in the 300 range, in 2015, it is now available on most models in the new, wide body Hino 500 range of trucks of 16-tons and above. More than 60% of 300 models sold this year are fitted with automatics and dealer orders for wide body 500 models are running at 80% in favour of the automatic option.

“We are delighted with the uptake on our models with automatic transmission, with customers enjoying benefits in terms of lower fuel consumption, no clutch replacement and subsequent downtime, as well as having a driver that is less stressed, which results in less vehicle damage and fewer accidents,” explained Ernie Trautmann, vice president of Hino South Africa.

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Hino SA has made a very good start to the year, with market share up in all categories of the local market after seven months. The MCV market was down by 4.3% but Hino’s share was up 2.3%; the HCV market was down 1.8% but Hino’s share was up 9.1% and Hino’s penetration in the EHCV market has improved from 11.5% at the end of 2017 to 12.2% after seven months of 2018.

Hino SA expects its local truck sales to grow by 27% in 2018, going from 3 400 units in 2017 to 4 300 units this year, despite a predicted flat overall market for the SA truck and bus industry.

The Toyota Dyna, which is now marketed as an LCV, and, as such, no longer requires a Code 10 licence, is driving the increase in sales this year since this model was moved out of the MCV in 2017.

Dyna sales jumped by 36% from 2016 (499 units) to 2017 (681 units) and in the first seven months of 2018 Dyna sales of 682 units already exceed the 2017 total. Dyna now account for about 20% of cab-over sales in the LCV segment.

The Dyna has particular appeal for small businesses where it can replace a one-ton pick-up and deliver better productivity with its larger load space.

Dynas can be ordered from Toyota dealers as a van, curtain-side freight carrier or as a tipper, besides the standard dropside model, while Hino dealers usually provide customer bodies to suit specific customer needs. Dropsides still make up about 80% of Dyna sales.

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The Hino sales and manufacturing teams are benefitting from a build-to-order production planning concept which prioritises the build on the assembly line to shorten lead times and so better supply customer needs.

“The local truck market hasn’t grown in the past four years and we don’t see the situation changing this year, but we are confident Hino will remain a major player,” concluded Trautmann.

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