Practical solutions: Hino offers 19 different variants of the 300 Series.
New 300 Series gains all-round improvements to chase national sales goal
21 February 2007
By NEIL McDONALD
HINO is hoping its new 300 Series light-duty truck will create the platform to challenge for leadership in the Australian total truck market by 2010. It wants to sell 7000 trucks by 2010, a 40 per cent lift on its 2006 volumes.
The new Hino 300 Series supersedes the successful Dutro range of light-duty trucks but gains more equipment, improved safety and better value.
In all, 19 variants will be available, all powered by a 4.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine mated to a new adaptive six-speed automatic, dual airbags on wide cab models, driver’s airbag on all six standard cab models, cornering lamps, easy start hill assist on all manuals and six-speed adaptive automatic on three models.
Four-wheel disc brakes are fitted on 18 of the 19 variants while other standard equipment includes power steering, air conditioning, keyless entry,electric windows and reach and height adjustable steering.
The six-speed auto also features "neutral control" that shifts the transmission to neutral when the truck is stationary and the brake is applied saving both fuel and wear-and-tear.
The turbo-diesel will be available in two states of tune - 103kW at 2700rpm and 364Nm at 1800 and 114kW at 2700rpm and 404Nm at 1800.
From top: 616 Dump, 614, 916 and 300 Series interior.
For the first time, a new crew cab model and a standard cab single rear wheel variant will be available, aimed at fleet and owner-operator utility truck buyers.
Hino Australia’s director and chief operating officer, Steve Lotter, said the 300 Series would raise the bar on safety and value for money.
"By anticipating customers’ expectations as much as meeting them, the 300 Series will recast the way in which the Hino brand will be perceived by the truck market," he said.
Manual transmission models feature "easy start", which electronically maintains braking force, even after the driver takes their foot off the brake pedal.
It allows the driver to seamlessly move off from a stationary position at low speed on uphill grades.
The Hino 3614-5500kg gross vehicle mass (GVM) features independent front suspension with a rigid front end.
The standard cab Hino 3414 (4495kg GVM) features the new six-speed automatic and single rear wheels.
The wide cab Hino 3816 (7300kg GVM) is the largest model in the range to have the six-speed automatic.
Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with dual-piston calipers are fitted to all but one model of the 19 variants and coupled with ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD).
Australia is the third-largest market for Hino after Thailand and the United States, according to the president of Hino Motors Ltd, Shoji Kondo.
He said the sales push in Australia was an important part of Hino’s global master plan.
"We understand Australia is the most competitive market in the world – with almost every manufacturer represented here – but we can’t let that stand in our way," he said.
"Hino must reach the number one position in Australia if we want to achieve number one in the world."