13 Jan 2023

Hino South Africa made an amazing recovery from the 41-day shutdown of its plant in Prospecton outside Durban, due to the catastrophic flooding that occurred on April 11-12. It posted a sales figure for 2022 of 3 333 trucks, which was 9.4% higher than the figure for 2021, and only 417 units below the original retail sales target for last year of 3 750 units.

Hino sales of 3 333 vehicles in South Africa in 2022 were made up of 606 200 Series models which are included in the light commercial vehicle segment. (The Hino 200 was previously marketed as the Toyota Dyna).

Hino 300 Series sales, in the medium commercial vehicle segment, amounted to 1 512 units (up from 1 421 in 2021). Hino HCVs also showed increased volume with 995 units sold in 2022, compared to 744 in 2021. However, Hino sales in the extra-heavy category at 213 units were below the 338 trucks sold in 2021 as the company awaits the arrival of the new generation 700 Series.

The extensive flooding and subsequent clean up took a heavy toll on one of South Africa’s leading truck manufacturers as 78 built-up trucks or completely knocked down (CKD) kits of components were declared unsalvageable and scrapped and destroyed so that none of these vehicles or the affected components reached the market.

Hino lost approximately 550 vehicles out of scheduled production before production restarted on May 23. About 100 assembly line workers went home for the first week after the floods and then returned to the plant in batches in the following weeks to assist in the comprehensive flood recovery programme.

The original production plan for 2022 required 4 105 trucks to be assembled in 2022. This was revised down to 4 085 units. Actual production came within 124 units of meeting this target, which was an excellent achievement considering the extent of the damage in what was arguably the biggest natural disaster in global motor industry history.

The reason is that the extensive flooding affected all aspects of Toyota SA Motors’ operations in Prospecton, which are situated on a single site. Tsunamis, tornadoes and the like have affected only certain aspects of a motor company’s operations as they are not all on one site.

“This has been a very tough year for Hino and I am delighted at the manner in which all those concerned, be they team members at the assembly plant or our loyal dealer network, made every effort to lessen the effect of the enforced shutdown and the result was that our sales and production results were far better than originally anticipated when we surveyed the extent of the flood damage,” commented Pieter Klerck, General Manager of Hino SA.

“The cherry on top was our ability to keep up the high customer experience standards that have been a major feature of our success in recent years,” added the Hino SA executive.