While Isuzu again claimed top spot with its 32nd consecutive overall win  in the Australian market, its long time pursuer and perennial number two, Hino could easily be overlooked, but Toyota’s  truck brand had a very satisfying result in a year  that had many challenges for every manufacturer and the industry as a whole.

Hino defied the odds in a turbulent 2020, delivering 5,222 trucks and buses, which saw it capture its highest ever share with 18.4 per cent of the market.

Hino attributes the fuel for the result to the launch of its new 300 Series and its expanded Built to Go range, pointing to the fact that it took a 22.4 per cent market share in the light-duty segment. However the reality is  that Hino’s increasing success on the back of its 500 series in medium duty also played a key role, and also gave it a rare win in the medium duty segment for  the month of November.

“While light duty market share is marginally down compared to 2019, orders of light-duty trucks increased by 29 per cent in the second half of the year, following the launch of our new 300 Series range in July,” said Bill Gillespie,  the newly promoted vice president of brand and franchise development for Hino Australia.

In medium-duty, Hino recorded a whopping market share of 34.1 per cent, which was an increase of 2.5 per cent compared to 2019.

Hino agrees that this growth in market share can be attributed to the continued success of its 500 Series Standard Cab range, and its comprehensive active safety package which is clearly finding favour with a number of fleets keen to maximise OH&S advantages.

The big hole in Hino’s  line up is arguably its heavy-duty offering, which the company hopes will be plugged with its new 700, due later in 2021. Hino sold 482 of its 700 series in 2020 to be eighth, while Isuzu registered 1255 heavy duty and was third overall.

Hino says that Heavy duty truck sales suffered the greatest impact from COVID-19 during 2020 – despite a reduction in size of the segment, although while Hino was a long way behind Isuzu in the heavy segment, it maintained still a market share of 4.5 per cent.

Across all segments Hino increased its overall market share by 0.9 per cent  to  register  that aforementioned best ever sahe with 18.4 per cent  of the total market.

“This achievement is reflective of the positive response from our customers to the high specifications of our new models and further demonstrates consumer confidence in our brand and the quality of our products,” said Bill Gillespie.

A highlight of 2020 was the company’s biggest ever sales month in Australia – in June, Hino delivered a total of 752 new trucks to customers, surpassing the previous record of 690 in March 2006.

“For many industries, 2020 has been a challenging year, and the trucking industry is no exception, but despite tough market conditions, Hino Australia remains in a strong position and is well-placed for 2021.

“This success, in part, can be attributed to the launch of the new 300 Series light-duty model range including a refreshed Built to Go line-up.

“The Hino team in both our dealerships and head office operations were able to adapt quickly to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Our dealerships now offer customers flexible options such as contactless servicing that ensure high standards of hygiene are maintained.

“We have been able to guarantees our dealership technicians continue their training and upskilling through increased online training.

“Our Hino Advantage suite of customer-focused business support solutions has been the cornerstone of our consistent results over the last six years, no more so than in 2020.

“A restructure of our in-house Customer Care Centre means we are now able to provide even more technical support to our customers.

“Customers also benefit from enhanced transparency through an expanded capped price service program which now includes Capped Price Brake and Clutch replacement on all 300 Series models that comply with Euro 5 emission standards.

“Once again, Hino Motors Limited in Japan has rewarded the Australian team with Parts and Service Departments of the Year accolades plus a new Parts Excellence Award.”

With an ongoing focus on supporting its customers around the country, Hino has further expanded its dealership network with upgraded or new facilities in Ballarat (Victoria), Lismore, Gosford, Taree (NSW); and Hobart in Tasmania.

“We are confident 2021 will be another successful year for Hino – our focus remains on providing our customers with innovative solutions, and we are confident our model range coupled with Hino Advantage does exactly that,” concluded Mr Gillespie.