Truck manufacturer, Hino, said earlier this week it is taking a rather conservative view of the overall truck and bus market in 2015, forecasting only about 2% growth on the 2014 sales. However, despite this slow growth prediction for the overall market, Hino Vice President Ernie Trautmann said the aim is to increase Hino’s sales volume and market share during the year.
“We will be assisted in increasing Hino sales with the addition of a number of new derivatives during the year, including four in the Hino 300 sector, being two more models with automatic transmission and two more crew cabs.
“We see the current low oil price as providing a welcome boost to African economies although we doubt that it will result in significant new vehicle buying over the short term in South Africa. We rather see hard-pressed transport operators using the savings in fuel costs to stabilise their businesses as nobody knows how sustainable the lower price is going to be in the volatile global economy” said Trautmann.
Currently, the truck maker is restructuring Hino SA itself to better serve its dealers and their customers.
Focus will include shortening the lines of communication. This will tie in with Hino Total Support workshops for each dealership where detailed analyses will result in action plans to be implemented.
Extensive sales potential surveys are being undertaken in each region to highlight additional sales opportunities for the dealers, which will go along with programmes to retain existing customers and to bring past customers back into the Hino fold as well as looking for conquest sales.
“After sales is a key to success in the truck market and in Africa, with many trucks operating over long distances, it is essential to have excellent back-up service,” he said.
A big drive this year is to promote maintenance plans for Hino customers in partnership with Toyota Financial Services which is developing a range of affordable packages.
Another aspect of dealer operations being pursued in 2015 is to develop an effective Hino used truck programme as this is seen as a growth market for the brand and potentially an important contributor to dealership viability.