Hino South Africa: Management change and a promising future
Anton Falck, who has taken over from Ernie Trautmann as Vice President of Hino South Africa.

I was privileged to attend a media breakfast at Toyota South Africa Motors in Sandton on 13th June 2023.  Being the coldest day of the year so far, battling the traffic on the N3 motorway was no walk in the park, but the event made it worthwhile.

After a short introduction by Pieter Klerck, General Manager – Hino, Leon Theron, TSAM Senior Vice President, spoke about the challenges faced by the company in the past few years, touching on COVID, the riots and floods, which severely impacted the Prospecton plant. The upside to this was that the plant was seen to be in its geriatric phase of life and these events forced a renewal.

He then introduced the newly appointed Vice President of Hino South Africa, Anton Falck.  Anton takes over from Ernie Trautmann, who has retired.  He originally started in Consumer Behaviour and Marketing, but since joining Toyota SA Motors in 1987, he has worked in several divisions in the company, gaining experience in management, marketing communications and vehicle sales, dealer representation, overseeing Automark, TSAM’s used vehicle franchise and, more recently, running the Toyota Academy of Learning.

“We are pleased to have successfully launched the highly anticipated new Hino 700 last month. This vehicle sets a new standard for its class in the industry, boasting exceptional performance and outstanding safety features at a highly competitive price. The product has been well received and the initial feedback from both our dealer network and customers has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Falck.

Hino’s initial commercial market forecast for 2023 was in the region of 31 500 units.  However, after just five months, it is clear that the market is larger than anticipated, with a growth rate of 11.6% over the same period in 2022.  This has increased their forecast to between 33 500 and 35 000 for the year.

The most significant growth has been in the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment, with a whopping 21.8% increase compared to 2022, while the Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle segments have remained relatively stable.

Falck added, “Hino sales have also performed satisfactory year-to-date, with a growth rate of 5.8% compared to 2022. That is of course behind the market growth, but mainly due to us having had a product gap in the extra- heavy segment. We already have a strong base with our 200, 300 and 500 series trucks and now have the 700 range to provide more volume.”

“In conclusion, the current market trends and our successes indicate a promising future for Hino in South Africa. We are confident that our reliable trucks and competitive pricing, coupled with our strong dealer network and aftersales support efforts, will position us favourably in the southern African commercial vehicle market going forward,” concluded Falck.

Hino Motors, Toyota, Mitsubishi Fuso, and Daimler recently signed a memorandum of understanding to engage in a future collaboration on equal terms, with Toyota and Daimler as shareholders.  There is not much more information at this stage, so watch this space…