Hino has become the latest truck brand to embrace motor racing as a key marketing platform, announcing it has taken on a major sponsorship of V8 Supercars and will now be the official Light and Medium duty Truck and Bus sponsor of the Australia’s premier racing category.

Hino takes over that role from rival Fuso after the Daimler owned brand opted out for 2016 after close to ten years in the category.

Hino confirmed it signed on with V8s for the next three seasons with one of the key television assets being something entitled, the ‘Hino Hub’ previously known as the ‘Tech Centre’. The Hino Hub will provide regular race information and statistical updates throughout Network Ten free-to-air and the Foxtel TV broadcasts.

The company announced the sponsorship at its National Dealer Conference and Annual Dealer of the Year dinner at Sydney Town Hall on Saturday night and from all reports the dealer network has applauded the move. This is believed to be Hino’s first major sports sponsorship in more than 50 years in the Australian market.

As part of the V8 sponsorship Hino will also participate in a number of activities on-track ride and pit walk programs intended to introduce new commercial fans to the sport.

Hino enters the sponsorship after recording a 10 per cent growth rate In 2015, the highest sales growth of Australia’s top 10 truck companies having delivered 4443 trucks.

“V8 Supercars has been used effectively by truck companies for brand exposure, but we see it as having even greater relevance as a means of bringing direct benefit to our customers,” Steve Lotter, Chairman and CEO of Hino Motor Sales Australia, said.

“Connecting with our customers, whether live at the track or through TV and online, has to be meaningful as well as entertaining.

“Both V8 Supercars and Hino operate in a fast changing business environment and I’m certain that Hino will learn from the involvement with V8 Supercars over the next 3 years ” Mr Lotter said.

“In many respects we share the same customer base and we are undertaking a similar rate of technological change.”

“As Australia’s third most-attended sport and fourth most-watched sport on TV, through Foxtel TV and Network Ten free-to-air, V8 Supercars provides a substantial platform for Hino.”

“The V8 Supercars partnership will present a platform designed to enhance the Hino Advantage position. There is an opportunity to undertake communications that are extremely innovative.”

Hino’s multi-year initial with the V8 Supercars Championship comes into effect at the opening round, the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on 3 March with the truck company vowing to be prominent at all 16 V8 events in 2015, including the Australian Grand Prix which is a non championship event.

Most of the leading truck brands are now involved in V8 Supercars at various levels including Hino, Kenworth, Iveco, Freightliner,  MAN, Western Star, Volvo and Mack, however one of the few exceptions at the moment appears to be market leader Isuzu.