Hino Motors Introduces the First of its New Modularized Products in Thailand
After Indonesia, Thailand to become the second country where Hino will offer market best-fit vehicles that meet the demands of regional customers with shorter lead times.
Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) held an event to announce the launch of its new HINO500 Series medium-duty truck model in Thailand. This new model is the first of Hino’s market best-fit vehicles built around modular designs. Following the launch of the HINO500 Series in Indonesia in January this year, Thailand will become the second country where Hino will be marketing these vehicles. Hino will offer a lineup of best-fit vehicles with specifications that meet the needs of Thai customers.
Hino’s customers in Thailand have been using Hino trucks and buses for over five decades. The cumulative number of units sold in the country is expected to reach 300,000 by the end of this fiscal year, making Thailand one of Hino’s major overseas markets. This makeover of Hino’s flagship model in the medium-duty trucks category enables the company to offer vehicles that accommodate a variety of different applications and cargo types. Furthermore, in conjunction with ongoing enhancements to Hino’s Total Support services, the company is committed to its ongoing efforts to maximize customers’ vehicle up-times and minimize life cycle costs.
Commercial vehicles represent capital assets that Hino customers use for their business operations. And due to the great diversity in the types of cargo and applications that need to be addressed in the commercial vehicles market, this results in high-mix, low-volume production, where the number of models continues to grow even as the number of units per model remains small. The number of types of parts also tends to increase along with the number of models. In response to these issues, specific to commercial vehicles, Hino introduced a modular concept for developing its market best-fit vehicles, where parts and components are categorized as either core parts, which form the foundations of a model, or peripheral parts used for making customizations to vehicles based on customer requests. By designing core parts for shareability and producing them centrally in Japan on the one hand, and focusing on increasing the number of locally sourced peripheral parts on the other, Hino has gained the ability to produce a diverse range of vehicles in locations that are geographically nearer to their ultimate market destinations. This enables Hino to offer a diverse lineup that meets the needs of its customers in Thailand and other markets with shorter lead times.
Over the next few years, Hino will be following the precedent set by its initiatives in Indonesia and Thailand to expand the range of regions and markets where the company is able to provide these new modular models as best-fit vehicles.
Additionally, Hino is well into the process of optimizing the production systems that form the foundations of the manufacturing operation based on this new vision. At the Koga Plant, which plays a critical role as the mother plant for heavy- and medium-duty vehicle production, the KD and axle plants have already begun operations. The cab and vehicle assembly plants will also soon begin production one by one, with full operation commencing early in 2017.
Hino is committed to strengthening ties with its customers in different regions around the world, and continues to provide products and Total Support that meet market needs in order to become customers’ brand of choice and make positive contributions to its customers’ businesses.