Hino sold 128 466 units in the 2011/12 financial year – a new record for the Japanese truck maker. However, the target for the 2012/13 year is 153 000 units, a healthy 19% increase.
“This is quite ambitious,” admits Hino South Africa (SA) VP Dr Casper Kruger, “especially as 2011/12 was a record year for the company”.
“The focus of Hino is to grow its worldwide [market] share,” he adds.
Just over 70% of the 2011/12 volumes were sold outside Japan.
Even more ambitious for Hino is that it hopes to sell 196 000 trucks in the 2014/15 financial year, which would be a massive 73% jump from the 2010/11 volume of 113 000 units.
At least the global truck market is also forecast to grow, from 6.73-million units in 2007, to 8.5-million units in 2015.
Of course, Hino SA has its role to play in its parent company’s growth plan, notes Kruger.
“We have had several meetings with Hino in Japan.”
South Africa is Hino Japan’s ninth biggest market.
With the South African truck market up 6% in the first seven months of the year compared with the same period in 2011, and Hino sales up ‘only’ 7.4%, Hino SA may have a tough task ahead of it. The company also saw market share shrink to 12.2%, down from last year’s 12.7%.
However, says Kruger, with the first six months of 2012 delivering sales of 1 702 units, Hino is positive the second half of the year will be better, at a forecast of 1 938 units.
“We had a bit of a bottleneck in securing semi-knockdown kits from Japan. The loss in market share was largely supply constraint. It was very unfortunate for us.”
“We have a few very nice big orders to build in the second half, and we have secured the stock to deliver on this. We hope the [truck] body builders have the capacity to assist us.”
Hino SA sold 3 390 units in 2011, and is seeking around 10% growth in 2012. Market share will hopefully increase from 12.7% in 2011, to 13.2% in 2012.
As for the total local market, Kruger expects it to reach between 27 500 and 28 000 units.
However, he adds, “we have seen some customers revise the number of trucks they want to buy downwards over the last four months”.
Hino SA has announced that the warranty on its Hino 700 Series model range is now valid for three years with unlimited kilometres for on-road use, and two years with unlimited kilometres when the truck is used in off-road operations.
“According to our research this is one of the most comprehensive warranties in this segment of the South African truck market,” says Kruger.
“Some of the other brands offer more years on the drive train only, but our three years/unlimited kilometres warranty offers some of the best cover on the entire vehicle.”
Previous warranty cover for the 700 Series was one year/unlimited kilometres, with a power train warranty of 24 months or 300 000 km.