Industry News

Taking Hino Forward

After a period of uncertainty, a reappraisal of the Hino brand and products sees new initiatives taking Hino forward into the next decade.

As the number two selling truck brand in Australia, Hino tend to keep a relatively low profile. The organisation has worked hard to develop a comprehensive range of trucks to suit Australian conditions and a dealership group to support them.

However, after a few set backs around the pandemic and regulatory issues with emission ratification, the company is looking to develop its offering to the transport industry and get back to the task of offering something to handle just about every task.

“We obviously had some issues in 2022 in terms of supply out of Japan, for various reasons out of our control,” says Richard Emery, Hino President and CEO. “There are some things that we have, entrenched in our business philosophy over the last couple of years, considering the market circumstances. The market circumstances are positive and we’ve certainly had a strong sales performance.

“It got a bit frustrating, because we certainly could have delivered more over the last two years particularly. It was constrained by local bodybuilder capacity, but that seems to be easing up as we lean into 2024. We’ve had some issues in Japan in 2022 with 300 Series and we took the 500 series off the market for four or five months, as we dealt with the emissions paperwork that we needed to deal with.

“Having got through that, we still have some challenges, as we get into 2024 and beyond. Business is in pretty good shape, and we’ve been concentrating on some things that we’ve had some positive outcomes from.”

Image: Prime Creative Media

In a strong and rising truck market Hino clearly missed opportunities, both in 2022 and 2023 because of these issues. It is coming back with a stronger model mix, bolstered by the return of the 500 Series, which has really bounced back. This truck has been proven to be a good fit in the medium to heavy duty segment of the market, where Hino traditionally performs well.

The 700 Series has never been a strong performer and the latest model had a difficult launch right in the middle of the worst of the COVID confusion. Orders continue to come in, but the global shipping issues slow the process of getting trucks from factory to customer. .

The increasing demand for trucks in the economy means customers’ businesses are expanding, so rather than changing their fleet over they’re putting new trucks on, at the same spending levels on older trucks’ maintenance is growing to keep them going, with a lot of preventative maintenance.

“We’re starting to now move into training on efficiency in our workshops,” says Richard. “We count their steps, and if we can lessen the load on technicians, we can get longevity and get better efficiencies out of it. The shortage of skilled workers in Australia continues to be a challenge in our industry. It’s eased a little bit in the last six to 12 months. There’s more apprentices coming in for sure. It’s kind of still a problem but nowhere near as bad as it was a year ago.

“We invested in a parts distribution centre during the COVID period. That’s proven to be genius. If we hadn’t invested in that new facility, there’s no way we would have kept up with the current parts business. We have also done lot of training making sure our dealers have got a facility that works efficiently and safely so that they can turn the parts stock over quickly.

“We have a system, it’s not AI, but it allows them to predict what stock they need based on what sort of work they’ve been doing. This ensures they have the right parts are in the right place at the right time.”


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Taking Hino Forward appeared first on Power Torque.

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