New 500-Series Hino available in fourth quarter

Model undergoing testing

The new 500-Series Hino, to be launched later this year, will be sold with a range of service and full maintenance plans, as well as extended warranties developed in conjunction with Toyota Financial Services.

“We are already getting increasing take-up on these important after-sales offerings and our aim is to sell a service or maintenance plan to at least 10% of the buyers of the new 500-Series Hino,” says Ernie Trautmann, vice president of Hino South Africa.

“Trucks covered by Hino service and maintenance plans open up growing possibilities for increasing buy-backs which are attractive to many operators.”

Hino and its network of 65 dealers countrywide is continuing to focus on promoting and implementing Hino service and maintenance plans, the two-year parts warranty as well as extended vehicle warranties.

Toyota Financial Services currently finances more than 30% of Hino sales. Developing a used truck franchise is another project currently in the mill.

“Offering servicing and repairs after normal business hours is a growing trend in the local truck market and many Hino dealers already offer after-hours servicing on weekdays – as well as on Saturdays – while some of them are already offering 24/7 servicing by appointment,” says Trautmann.

The Hino VP added that the company’s learnership programme is designed to attract younger people to work at the company’s dealerships.

The programme began in February and has 12 delegates who spend one week a month at the Toyota Academy of Learning in Sandton, Johannesburg, and the remainder of the month in dealerships.

According to Hino, dealers want it to be offered every year instead of the planned two-year cycle. Delegates sign a contract with their dealership to stay with them for at least two years after completing the learnership.

“This is a very positive step as our research has shown that more than 70% of Hino sales volume is concluded by salespersons who are 50 years or older,” explained Trautmann.

“We need to attract younger people into the trucking business.”

Commenting on the truck market this year, he said sales in the first quarter were better than expected and showed the industry was surprisingly resilient.

“Public holidays impacted on sales in April, but combining truck sales for March and April this year and comparing them with the combined figures for these two months last year, reveals there is not a big difference in volume.

“We are sticking with our original prediction of a market of 26 500 trucks and buses this year, which is still below a market of 30 000 plus units required to grow the industry,” explained Trautmann.

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