The Hino 500 series is available in both manual and automatic guises. Below: Less down-time from clutch-related niggles also drives the shift towards automatics.
The Hino 500 series is available in both manual and automatic guises. Below: Less down-time from clutch-related niggles also drives the shift towards automatics.

Trucking specialist Hino SA reports a positive increase in demand for its fully automatic transmissions that are available as an option on its truck line-up.

Launched first in 2015 for the 300 range, the brand has to date made the self-shifting transmission available on most models in the new Hino 500 Wide Cab range of trucks of 16 tons and above. The firm says more than 60% of 300 models sold this year are fitted with automatics and dealer orders for the 500 Wide Cab models are showing 80% of new orders are specified with the automatic option.

"We are delighted with the uptake on our models with automatic transmission, with customers enjoying benefits in terms of lower fuel consumption, no clutch replacement and subsequent downtime, as well as having a driver that is less stressed, which results in less vehicle damage and fewer accidents," says Ernie Trautmann, vice-president of Hino SA.

Despite a fairly static truck and bus market in the past nine months, Hino SA’s market share is up in all categories of the local truck market. Hino’s share of the HCV segment was 29.2% and 21.1% year to date, while the total market at the end of September 2018 was 15.9% and 12.7% year to date. The firm expects its local sales to grow 22.3% in the remainder of 2018, from 3,681 units (including Toyota Dyna) in 2017 to 4,500 units.

The Toyota Dyna, which is now marketed as an LCV and as such no longer requires a Code 10 licence, is said to be the driver of the increase in sales. Dyna sales jumped 36% from 2016 (499 units) to 2017 (681 units) and in the first nine months of 2018 Dyna sales are reported at 834 units, already far exceeding the 2017 total. Dyna now accounts for about 18% of cab-over sales in the LCV segment.

The Dyna is adequately designed for small businesses thanks to its lowered driving licence grading and larger load space which can be varied as a typical van or a dropside configuration. This amplifies its appeal as a sensible replacement for a one-ton pick-up where better productivity and deliverables score big in this segment.

Toyota dealers are able to provide additional custom bodies to suit customer needs, though dropsides still make up about 80% of Dyna sales.

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