THE latest range of Hino 500 Wide Cab trucks is being produced at Hino South Africa’s world class assembly plant in Prospecton, near Durban, with units on the way to dealers all over the country.
The Hino 500 range is being expanded from five models to 12 as part of the first full model change in 14 years.
The start of production follows the longest and most intensive pre-launch marketing programme by Hino South Africa. This included road shows in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The show will continue to Namibia and Botswana in January.
“The new 500 range, including the 6x4 models, let us to compete in many markets we were not able to previously,” said Ernie Trautmann, the vice president of Hino SA, speaking at the recent line-off ceremony for the new model.
“Many additional features were added to the 500 model along with competitive pricing and a much bigger line-up, which should allow us to regain our top position in the local, heavy commercial vehicle market.”
The introduction of this latest model from Japan’s leading heavy truck manufacturer to the Prospecton manufacturing facility involved an investment of more than R20 million by Hino SA and a number of significant changes to the assembly process. Most of these are aimed at improving productivity and quality, while lessening the physical load on the workers.
The current plant, which has been in operation since 2013, has a production capacity of 5 000 trucks a year on a single shift, with total number of worker in a shift increasing by 10 people to 113.
Masamichi Mizukoshi, the managing officer of production and production control at Hino Motors Limited, said: “Hino has been in South Africa for 45 years and Toyota South Africa Motors is one of the oldest Hino distributors in the world, so we are very pleased to be able to now offer the latest model in the Mzansi heavy truck market.”
Calvyn Hamman, senior vice-president of sales, and marketing at Toyota South Africa, said “The 500 is a very important model in our local Hino range as we push for sales in all parts of the market as our vision of becoming the top-selling Mzansi truck brand by 2020.”