Hino Motors Australia believes that while some supply chains issues still remain the worst of the issues that have affected it in the past 12 months are behind it and its order rate is higher than ever before as it heads into the second half of 2023.
Richard Emery, Hino’s vice president of brand and franchise development told trade media that combination of supply chain issues, particularly with a shortage of turbochargers sourced out of China for its 300 series early in 2022 and the major regulatory issues its parent faced in Japan following the emission and fuel consumption falsification scandal tested his Australian team but that they had weathered the storm and were now looking forward to a record sales year in 2023.
“It was a difficult year particularly in August when we found out about the dramas in Japan, which were revealed the night before a major dealer conference here in Australia,” said Emery.
“Our dealers and our customers have stayed loyal throughout and now we are getting more stock and able to sell trucks that we had to park while the complications and restrictions that came as a result of the problems in Japan were cleared, ” he added.
Despite those issues Hino still had a record year in Australia in 2022 underlining just how strong the market was last year.
Emery said that while some supply chain issues still remained it was much less severe and that the future was looking much brighter.
The Hino boss also briefed the media on the subtle change in marketing angle for the company’s Hybrid models. Hino is now labelling the Hybrids as ‘Hybrid Electric’, a move which they say is all about better communicating the true nature of the technology to their customers.
“I don’t think we have communicated it very well in the past but we need to let more people know just how efficient and environmentally friendly the Hybrid Electric trucks are in real world conditions,” Emery said.
” I think our hybrid electric trucks have a legitimate role to play in the decarbonising of the national truck fleet, and that won’t happen overnight, it has to be a staged approach and hybrid electric has a big opportunity in that staged approach,” he added.
“If we can land trucks in the country we will sell them,” Emery told the media with confidence.
Hino’s parent company Toyota has felt the brunt of criticism in recent times about its lack of battery electric product and while both of Hino’s Japanese rivals, Fuso and Isuzu either have battery electric trucks now or in the near future, Hino has no purpose built battery electric trucks expected any time soon. Time will tell if the flexible Hino Hybrid format can win over more buyers as a practical bridge to a zero emission future. It may just be a practical solution to the myriad headaches operators are encountering with charging infrastructure for electric commercial vehicles.