Hino North America has dropped a bombshell  by announcing it has halted production in its US and Canadian truck plants until September 2021 and  will postpone all new-model vehicle sales in those countries as a result, after declaring that it faced issues with the certification of its engines.

The unprecedented move by Hino has taken the US truck industry by surprise given the company  has been particularly ebullient in recent times in North America, particularly with a large scale announcement just a couple of months ago, relating to its future zero emission product.

Hino said in statement on 23rd December (US time) that  it will suspend production at its West Virginia plant in the U.S. as well as its Woodstock plant in Canada, following a decision by Hino’s board of directors earlier in the day.

The company statement said that the production halt follows “challenges in the required U.S. engine certification testing process” for new model years of a number of the company’s engines for the North American market.

Hino says it is investigating the impact of the suspension on its earnings and will provide any updates in due course.

Hino vehicle sales are projected to drop sharply in North America, falling 53 per cent year-on-year to about 8,000 units for the fiscal year ending in March 2021, according to its statement. The company believe the hit will also adversely affect its global sales and is forecast a decrease  of up around 21 per cent over the same period.