Hino holds fort despite economic climate

“Hino South Africa is having a good year in terms of sales when one considers the tough economic climate and highly competitive market,” says Hino VP Ernie Trautmann. “Hino’s overall market share is currently standing at 13,5% of the total truck and bus market compared to our target for the year of 14,6% and we are confident of further improving our position in the run up to the end of the year.”

Trautmann says his team is committed to the Hino corporate vision of being the number one truck brand in South Africa by 2020. This strategy, he says, is being driven by the very effective international Hino Total Support programme which is based on relationships “rooted in absolute mutual trust between the dealers, Hino SA, suppliers and Hino Motors Ltd. to become a partner of the customer”.

Hino Total Support is backed by six pillars of activity: strengthening the product line-up; developing the ideal dealer representation; developing human resources at the Hino head office and at the dealers; developing and retaining customers; continuing to improve the customer experience; and striving to decrease total cost of ownership.

The 2020 Vision, which is backed by ‘One Team, One Pledge’, aims to provide Hino SA customers with the best products and total support. This was a key motivator at a strategy session for dealer principals in April and a conference for mangers of 3S (sales, service and spares) dealerships in August.

Among the plans discussed at these meetings was to develop a used truck franchise, offer a competitive range of service and maintenance plans as well as extended warranties, providing added value after sales services while drawing up stringent standards for dealers handling the Hino 700-Series extra heavy truck range.

In addition, there are a number of initiatives under way this year as the company works towards Vision 2020. These include an extended demonstrator programme, a renewed focus on driver training, a learnership programme at the dealers, a two-year warranty on genuine parts, a quick response action plan for vehicles off road (VOR) and ‘Bring it back’ campaigns for servicing at Hino dealers.

“We know the going is very tough for the truck industry in South Africa this year, but we are confident that our quality products and Hino Total Support will continue to further improve the customer experience so we can reach our long term goals such as Vision 2020,” says Trautmann.

Product changes are to take place in the remaining months of 2016 and early next year. These specification changes were driven largely by regulatory changes such as the requirement that trucks and buses to be fitted with ABS brakes and speed limiters from the beginning of next year.