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Hino relaunched

Friday, February 28, 2014    

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The Hino brand was relaunched on the front lawns of the St Andrew residence of Japanese Ambassador Yasuo Takase on Wednesday night.

Hino, part of the Toyota group, will be distributed in the Caribbean by United States-based Toyota Tsusho America and handled locally by Toyota Jamaica.

"We came to Jamaica originally in 1973 and we're delighted to be back," Hitoshi Yokoyama, deputy general manager Hino Motors Limited, told Auto.

Hino is re-entering the Jamaican market as part of a worldwide push to increase its global sales.

"We felt the conditions were right and will be starting with light to medium-duty trucks ranging from three to 10 tonnes," explained Tom Connor, managing director Toyota Jamaica.

Jamaica is part of a rollout in 15 Caribbean countries, which began recently in Trinidad & Tobago. Currently, Hino is the number one heavy and medium-duty manufacturer in Japan and is sold in 70 countries.

"A large part of the disappearance of Hino from the Caribbean was the complexity of dealing with small individual islands. Toyota Tsusho from Miami, Florida can now handle this," said Carlos Giraldi, Hino assistant manager, Toyota Tsusho America.

Conner expects to break into the very competitive commercial vehicle market on the brand's reputation due to its Toyota ties, the fact that the trucks are specifically developed for the Jamaican market, and through the Hino mantra of total customer support.

"The trucks have heavy duty suspension with key maintenance points. They're electronically simple, emissions compliant, able to work on our basic diesel fuel and even the gear ratios are optimised for Jamaica," he said.

To further help market penetration, Toyota Jamaica will provide 100 per cent after-sales service with stocked parts and trained Hino technicians at both its locations.

"We will even train technicians for those who have their own fleet maintenance teams," Conner added.

The company will also offer high-quality Japanese bodies based on their own market research.

— RD

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