Monday, February 20, 2017

TRUCK NEWS: HINO Launches the latest HINO 500 Series for the Malaysian market


HINO has launched their second new truck range in Malaysia for this year. This latest generation of HINO 500 trucks is quite an improvement over the previous 500 series which has been around since the early 2000s. The 500 series is also the best seller in the Medium Commercial Vehicle (MCV) segment here in Malaysia and HINO is confident that the new truck would be well received. There are new commonrail direct injection engines, new safety features as well as added refinement in all variants offered.


The new 500 series comes with Euro 3 compliant engines for the SG & FM models while the FG, GH and FL models are equipped with Euro 2 engines. The new HINO 500 Series trucks have new engines that come with electronic control commonrail technology in the engine for better fuel economy.  HINO’s 500 series offers a wide possibility of applications, such as tipper trucks (below), curtain siders, reefer trucks as well as general cargo and even cement mixers.


In terms of added safety compared to the one it replaces, the newly launched models feature side door impact beams, improved mirrors to provide the driver with a bigger field of vision, Front & Rear Under-run Protection, ABS braking system and Emergency Guard Impact Safety (EGIS) Cabin. These passive safety features are aimed at helping to reduce risk of fatal injuries to both drivers and other road pedestrians. 

Other notable firsts of this new 500 series are the long wheelbase FL 6x2 TRUCK chassis. This is the longest rigid truck chassis in the MCV segment sold here today. Another is the 6 speed automatic transmission equipped variant that is specially equipped as such for trucks that always encounter stop-start traffic of the cities. As such, HINO displayed the auto-transmission equipped garbage truck which would definitely help ease driver fatigue on such garbage collection routes. 

The other variants still have the traditional manual transmissions - a 6 speed and a 9 speed (8+crawler function). The transmissions have however been improved to give better drivability and efficiency. HINO has plans in its pipeline to offer its automatic transmission to all models but it is still undergoing testing. The market adoption for automatic transmission is slowly gaining momentum and HINO is aware of this. 

I personally believe there are two hurdles - first is that HINO must design a suitable transmission that car handle the massive torque (over 1,500Nm usually) that a prime mover needs to have and secondly its customers must be willing to try out such an option. Right now, a lot of Japanese truck customers choose a brand due to cost factors and reliability. There has to be a balance and it is also a bit on having the right product at the right time. Hopefully soon. 

The new 500 series Trucks are well designed in terms of its interior. Plastics look and seem heavy duty and hard wearing (and should last a long time). The controls are chunky and easy to reach. No complaints in the cabin department from me. There is also a small bunk bed behind the three seats for a driver or co-driver to rest. The truck's exterior is also very contemporary and current. 

I suppose I am not the only one who agrees with the HINO 500. At the launch of the new HINO 500, TLH Hardware & Machinery Sdn Bhd (whose Managing Director is pictured above beside Ken Iwamoto, Managing Director of Hino Motors Sales Malaysia Sdn. Bhd had signed a purchase order for the order of at least six new HINO 500 series truck, in the FL 6x2 form with the class leading longest wheelbase rigid truck. 

Prices of the HINO 500 series trucks start at around RM222,000 for the FG model, RM259,500 for the FL 6X2 long wheelbase model and RM268,500 for the automatic transmission GH8JM1A 4x2 rigid wheelbase truck. All prices are before various cargo options are factored into. 
 500 Series interior with the 9 speed manual transmission
 500 series with the Automatic Transmission


PRESS RELEASE

HINO Launches New Model 500 Series
HINO Launches New Model 500 Series with innovative safety features
► Second launch of new models this year.
► New Model to feature extensive re-design to offer better safety features.
► HINO to invest RM 8 Million to improve training facilities for drivers.



Petaling Jaya, 17 February 2017: Japanese maker of trucks and buses today launched their second new truck range this year. The HINO 500 has recently seen a make-over to enhance safety features and driver comfort. Presented in the Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre, the truck is expected to be delivered in a few weeks, as orders for the new vehicle have already been received. The company is also further investing some RM 8 Million into the upgrading of their training facilities near Seremban.

Speaking at the event was Ken Iwamoto, Managing Director of Hino Motors Sales Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. “HINO has been in Malaysia for over 40 years. This is not a short road-trip, but a long friendship. During this time, thanks to the support of our distributors and customers, we have managed to command a top position among the truck makers present in the country.”

The New HINO 500 continues to deliver on the company’s promise of QDR, which stands for Quality, Durability and Reliability. HINO’s aim is to provide trucks that are best suited to the needs of the local market to support their customers’ businesses. This latest generation of HINO 500 trucks comes with Euro 3 compliant engines for the SG & FM models while the FG, GH and FL models are equipped with Euro 2 engines. The new HINO 500 Series trucks are also using electronic control commonrail technology in the engine for better fuel economy. “Fuel economy is very important, especially in inner-city and intra-city transportation. This is where the HINO 500 will be best suited to operate,” Iwamoto continued. HINO’s 500 series offers a wide possibility of applications, such as tipper trucks, curtain siders, reefer trucks as well as general cargo and even cement mixers, making it a real all-rounder.

In terms of added safety, the newly launched models feature side door impact beams, improved mirrors to provide the driver with a bigger field of vision, Front & Rear Under-run Protection, ABS braking system and Emergency Guard Impact Safety (EGIS) Cabin. These passive safety features are aimed at helping to reduce risk of fatal injuries to both drivers and other road pedestrians. According to Iwamoto, this is highly important as traffic accidents not only result in a loss of money, but many times can render families without the breadwinner or cause depression while resulting in financial difficulties. “We are doing everything we can to support the Malaysian Government’s efforts to reduce accidents on the roads.”

Stepping into the cabin of the truck, operators can look forward to a much more comfortable and ergonomic working environment. From enlarged cab steps to the driver seat with air suspension, the cab is developed with the comfort of the driver in mind. The optimised cab provides better visibility, better arrangement of the instrument cluster and efficient air flow to keep cool in traffic. Symbolising strength, dynamism and class, the outside of the truck has been given a make-over as well, giving it a modern and attractive design. The model shown during the launch, a garbage truck, fitted with 6-speed Automatic Transmission, was a testament to the QDR approach of HINO as it is a variant that would see a tremendous amount of start-stop operation inside the city, thus making less stressful for driver and truck. Depending on the requirements of the customers, Low and High Cab versions of the HINO 500 are available for selected models.

Stating that good products alone are no longer good enough to satisfy the needs of customers, Iwamoto explained about the upcoming upgrade of their own training centre, the Hino Total Support Customer Centre. In operation for two years now, the training grounds are situated just outside Seremban. Capable of producing 10,000 vehicles and training several thousand drivers every year, this is the only such facility HINO operates outside Japan. Here, after the upgrade which is currently underway, HINO will offer an extended range of training courses. These courses include driver familiarization, eco-driving and safety-driving among others. “Only when drivers know how to operate HINO trucks at their optimum, businesses will be gaining huge value out of our trucks. This is how we support our customers in their quest to improve their operations. It is our duty to do so,” summarised Iwamoto this effort to provide superior service.

The HINO 500 Series also has a long history in Malaysia. In 1979 HINO launched their medium-sized trucks, namely LA & LB series. Following that, in 1980 the redesigned “KAZE-NO-RANGER SERIES” medium-duty truck was introduced. Euro 2 engine versions of the 500 HINO series truck came to the market in 2003 while low emission high-mileage HINO 500 series Hybrid were introduced only a year later. In the year 2005 HINO launched a new medium-duty truck to meet new long-term emission regulation. The year 2008 – saw the introduction of an all-new 500 series with the GH & FM model variants.

Although the year has only started, Hino Motors Sales Malaysia Sdn Bhd is already very confident that 2017 will be a successful one as they currently command a market share of 35.7 % and enjoys a solid reputation.

The recently held internal TS (Total Support) contest saw a record number of personnel from distributors competing for the coveted prizes and titles. The TS contest is an annual event whereby workshop staff and sales advisors are being
tested on their knowledge and skills. In addition, HINO is also proud to announce another successful completion of the Dakar Rally, which is a showcase of the QDR inherent in the HINO vehicles.

 At the launch of the new HINO 500, TLH Hardware & Machinery Sdn Bhd has signed a purchase order for the new HINO 500 series truck, which is a 6x2 with the longest wheelbase for a rigid truck of its class, which Iwamoto claims to be a sign of the trust and confidence customers put into the HINO brand.

HINO continue to Aim for Customer Trust & Confidence.

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