Hino Series 700 Product Launch at Zwartkops Raceway

By Angus Mackintosh

Hino launched their new 700 Series at the Toyota Gazoo Racing HQ, Zwartkops Raceway on 17th July with a good attendance by the media.

Toyota/Hino always put on a good show and this was no exception.

The event was opened by Anton Falck, who reiterated Hino’s success in the past and their hopes for the future.  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.

He also bragged (his word) about Hino receiving the Platinum Award for the fifth time in six years at the National Automobile Dears Association (NADA) Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) prizegiving.  Hino also placed first overall and first in the Sales and Parts categories in the Datatrack customer satisfaction survey for the second quarter of 2023.

An excellent presentation was given covering the features of the Hino 700 Series, outlining the safety features offered as standard, a huge value proposition in today’s truck industry.  Safety features include pre-collision system, staggering warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning system, driver monitor and all-round outer mirror vision.

After the presentation, we went to either track or skidpan to experience the trucks.  I went to the track first.  Driven by the Hino instructor, we lapped following a pace bakkie.  Using the adaptive cruise control, he took his foot off the accelerator and the Hino simply took over.  At the end of the lap the pace bakkie stopped completely and, without any driver activity, the Hino stopped at the safe distance.

Impressive, to say the least.

The skidpan exercise was different.  Each of the media took turns driving the Hino around a gymkhana course, ending with a full power burst and full on the brakes.  I can say that the ABS works well.

All in all, the Hino 700 is a great vehicle and I look forward to seeing more of them on the road.