The new Hino 500 series should assist Hino South Africa (SA) to increase its share of the South African heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) market from 18% to around 22%, 23%, says Hino SA VP Ernie Trautmann.
A new 6 X 4 model should also allow the new 500 series to “play in the extra-heavy commercial vehicle (EHCV) segment” – a move which could boost Hino SA’s market share in this segment from 4% to 6%, he adds.
The introduction of an automatic transmission should also provide further growth for Hino in this segment.
The first pre-production units of the new 500 series were produced at the Hino plant, in Durban, in May this year.
Hino 500 Wide Cab production will start in November, with sales to start in the same month.
While the introduction of the new 500 series will not yet boost Hino SA to the number one market position the Japanese manufacturer desires, the new 700 series should provide a valuable push to get there, says Trautmann.
There is no introduction date yet on the new 700 series.
The New 500
The upcoming arrival of the new Hino 500 Wide Cab models marks the first full model change of the 500 series in 14 years.
New features for the 500 Wide Cab models include wheelbase options – long and super long on 4 X 2 and 6 X 2 models – as well as two suspension options – steel springs or airbags on 6 X 2 models – and the addition of three 6 x 4 models, available with on- or off-road cabs and suitable for use as freight carriers, tippers and mixers.
The new 500 Wide Cab extends the 500 series offering in the 16 t gross vehicle mass (GVM) class upwards from five to 12 models.
The existing Hino 500 range below 16 t GVM continues with upgrades scheduled for January next year. The models included here are the 1018 freight carrier, 1326 freight carrier, 1326 tipper, 1322 4 x 4 dual rear wheel and 1322 4 x 4 single rear wheel.
“When the new 500 models are delivered to customers in South Africa they will have the full backing of the international Hino Total Support programme, which involves building close relationships between Hino Japan, Hino South Africa, its dealers and customers. This strategy has been bearing fruit in South Africa for several years already, with Hino coming out top in both customer and dealer surveys,” says Trautmann.