Although its been almost half a century since a a truck maker has successfully entered the North American Class 8 or heavy duty market Hino thinks it can do it.

While Hino USA’s director of marketing and dealer operations, Dominik Beckman still views the company as an emerging player but he told US media in Columbus, Indiana, that opportunity exists in the heavier Class 7 and Class 8 and Hino is looking to prove that it can be a player in the heavier sectors.

Hino has been selling trucks in the U.S. for 30 years and has  a 15 per cent overall market share in the medium-duty segments, selling 14,492 trucks in 2018. 

Hino’s captured a 17 per cent market share in class 4  and 31 per cent in the Class 5 cabover diesel sector and registered a 10 per cent increase in Class 6, where major truck rental companies Penske, Ryder and Enterprise purchase 38 per cent of all vehicles.

Beckman said that growth in the light and medium segments is being driven by last-mile. 

The company is of course no stranger to heavy duty trucks selling heavy duty models here in Australia as well as in its native Japan and in Africa.

Hino however is set to launch its first Class 8 vehicles in America later this year and starts to take order in May.

The Hino XL Series will be offered as the XL7 (Class 7) rigid  or the XL8 (Class 8) prime mover. Both will be powered by Hino’s A09 turbo diesel, 8.9 litre inline 6-cylinder engine. 

The trucks will be come in various configurations, ranging from a GVM of 14.9tonnes to 27 tonnes. and a GCM up to 29tonnes.

The truck will be built at Hino’s new 19.3hectare Mineral Springs factory in West Virginia which is opening later this year. 

Beckman also said that Hino will add extended cab and crew cab configurations of the XL series as well as a heavier front axle option in the coming year. Those updates will be formally announced at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta in October. The company will also give its Class 4-5 cabovers a makeover for the 2021 model year.