In Australia’s highly competitive truck market, Hino has been expanding on every level including the introduction of new product models and enhanced customer business offerings.
Bill Gillespie, General Manager of Brand and Franchise Development is a highly experienced automotive executive having held several executive roles with Nissan, Toyota, Kia and Peugeot, plus running his own motorsport tyre retail business. Bill’s impressive 30-year experience in the motor industry makes him the perfect man for the job. His devotion to the motoring industry also extends to the racing track, having been known to spin tyres in a V8 Holden, GTR Nissan and Maserati Shamal Bill’s appreciation for motorsports has fueled Hino Australia’s sponsorship with Supercars. He is clearly passionate about the motor industry, and sees Hino as a company that has great potential, especially through improving their customer buying experience.
Bill spoke with Prime Mover magazine in an exclusive interview, giving some insight into 2017 and plans moving forward whilst reflecting on how the role of the rigid truck had changed.
Q: So, what’s in store from Hino in 2017?
A: We see 2017 being very competitive, but our dealers and the organisation are up for that challenge and we’re aiming to lift sales again in 2017. Already, our dealers are investing strongly in the brand, with two new metropolitan sites in Sydney and Brisbane launching by the second half of 2017. In February, we launched the all-new range of 500 series wide-cab model trucks, and later in 2017 and the unveil of the long-awaited 300 series 4x4 model at the Brisbane Truck show.
Q: Where do you the see the most innovation potential in the rigid truck segment?
A: From a product point of view, the most immediate growth potential is in the uptake of two-pedal or automatic transmissions in the fleet, but our research has shown that the real opportunities lie in the telematics field, which we serve with our Hino Traq product. Information in all areas of business is key in the 21st century, and transport is no different – and whilst data use might have been the domain of the heavy interstate users in the past, the light- and medium-duty end of the market is quickly catching up.
Q: What’s Hino Australia’s strategy to challenge the industry’s leader?
A: Hino has moved to a ‘total customer support’ approach across our business. Key steps taken are the installation of a new in-house Customer Care Centre staffed by dedicated and trained Hino personnel, and the launch of an all-new suite of products in the Parts and Service area. This allows Hino and our dealers to stay competitive in the marketplace and also offer our customers premium back-up support after the purchase.
Q: What is in store for the future of Hino?
Hino is in the middle of a three-year business plan in an effort to grow its operation through to 2020 by offering improved customer service support, lower parts pricing, fixed-price servicing and faster, more efficient dealer servicing to reduce downtime and maximise total cost of operation. Customer satisfaction and retention is a priority and Hino is introducing a whole new set of standards for dealers to improve the customer experience.
Acknowledging this as a challenge, Bill is excited to take it head on and continue to improve the Hino Advantage.
Click here to read the entire exclusive interview with Prime Mover Magazine.