Bouyed by improvements in its truck market share and volumes, Japanese maker Hino is going to shine some focus on its bus offerings with aim of lifting volume and market shares, its people moving products having languished a little in recent years.
The introduction of the innovative and different Poncho, which has started to find favour with last mile and on demand bus operators in particular, has moved Hino to re look at its bus operations and to move to return some volume to augment its truck sales.
Hino’s General Manager of Brand and Franchise Development, Bill Gillespie, told Truck and Bus news that Hino’s bus offerings had encountered strong competition in recent years and volumes had diminished, however a renewed focus aims to lift volume and increase market penetration again.
“A decade ago Hino was selling 100 buses a year in Australia and to some extent Hino established its credentials in Australia with Bus,” said Gillespie.
“Hino sold its first bus in Australia in the mid 1960s and there are still a huge number of Hino buses running on Australian roads and a lot of bus operators who know and understand the brand,” he added.
“ We see a lot of opportunity because there are a lot of bus customers who like the brand as well as the reliability and the quality,” he said.
“We have some pretty interesting a strong product plans for Hino Bus in Australia over the next five years and we are taking a fresh look at the market and all the opportunities,” Gillespie added.
While Hino’s key rival and market leader Isuzu doesn’t sell its buses in Australia although it is active in bus sales in Japan and through Asia, preferring to concentrate on trucks in Australia. Hino’s other Japanese rival and number three in the truck market, Fuso has been active in the bus market locally and sells a reasonable volume each year.