Hino steps up its game with new R55?mln Durban plant

2014-05-23 00:00

HINO trucks has opened a new, R55 million truck plant on Toyota SA’s extensive manufacturing site in Prospecton, near Durban, this week.

The plant employs 65 direct team members and 29 indirect workers, backed up by 15 administrative and technical staff, who can produce anyone of 31 derivatives of the Dyna and Hino trucks, with the ability to build 12 trucks a shift.

To underscore how important South Africa is as a market for Hino, the chairperson of Hino Motors, Masakazu Ichikawa, and senior members of the board flew in from Japan for the opening.

Chief executive officer of Toyota South Africa Johan van Zyl said the Hino plant was only part of recent investment in local production, with more than R1 billion having been spent on production facilities in Prospecton over the past couple of years, including lines for the Siyaya and the locally-designed Corolla Quest.

Ichikawa said Africa and particularly South Africa were important markets for Hino. He said with Hino the top-selling commercial vehicle in Japan, the focus now is on selling Hino trucks and buses outside Japan.

The Durban line is one of 19 Hino assembly pants worldwide.

Ichikawa said Hino SA last year sold a record 3 461 vehicle units, which put it in ninth place among countries outside Japan and the Hino chairperson said he was pleased to hear that higher targets were being set for the future, despite the local commercial vehicle market being “particularly challenging” due to major brands from Europe, the U.S., Japan, China, India and Korea competing for a slice of a comparatively small number of sales.

Van Zyl said Hino recently launched Hino Total Support with the aim of contributing to the requirements of customers not only at the point of sale, but also throughout the lifetime of a Hino product.

Non-executive Hino board member Sindi Mabaso-Koyana said almost half the Hino dealer network had invested — or is investing — in new or revamped premises and he encouraged fleet owners to discover what Hino means with Hino Total Support.“These investments by our dealers — many of whom have been involved with Hino trucks since they arrived in South Africa in 1972 — correspond with our Hino Total Support philosophy. With our dealers, we aim to provide excellent, high-quality customer experience in both the sales and parts delivery areas of the business — it truly is the only way to Keep on Trucking,” said Van Zyl.

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