With the introduction of the new 500 Series Standard Cab range this year, it looks like it’s a Great Leap Forward for Hino in its standing in the Australian market. Diesel News went to Japan to speak to the engineers, both from Australia and Japan, who have developed the latest model for the Australian market.
In the world of medium duty trucks, Japanese truck manufacturers have complete control of the market in Australia. There are four brands from Japan which play in this space and they sell 95 per cent of all the trucks sold in this segment. Of these four, Isuzu and Hino are the dominant players, with Isuzu coming out as number one for most of the last 30 years.
The innovations in the new model range take the 500 Series Standard Cab well beyond its competitors in this market segment, in terms of electronic safety equipment offered as standard. The Hino 500 now includes a Pre-Collision System (PCS) which includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection (PD) and Safety Eye (SE). There is also Adaptive Cruise Control and a Lane Departure Warning System.
There’s also a new five litre engine, based on the nine litre introduced last year, with plenty of torque. Transmission choices are now between manual, AMT and fully auto across the range. The new A05 engine is a four cylinder derivative of the larger A09 six cylinder heavy duty engine fitted to the 700 Series heavy duty models in Japan as well as the medium and heavy duty 500 Series Wide Cab models in Australia.
“The level of safety on this truck has never been seen before in a Japanese-built medium duty truck in Australia – this is complemented by the superior torque, increased power and reduced fuel consumption of the all-new heavy-duty Hino A05 turbo charged five litre four-cylinder diesel engine,” said Hino Australia’s Manager of Product Strategy Daniel Petrovski.
This new model represents a step change in the Japanese offering in the medium duty truck market. There has been a gradual evolution in the past 15 years as the Japanese truck makers have introduced incremental improvements in the sophistication in their trucks. Cruise control, ABS, improved entertainment systems, et al have come along piece by piece at the same time as the sophistication of the driveline improved to include electronic engines with EGR, SCR etc.
This time it’s different. Hino is taking this whole truck segment and driving it forward into the 21st century. The safety technology coming into the Hino range is at a level comparable with the latest technologies fitted in new European trucks. (see page 30 for Diesel’s story about UD Trucks introducing this technology into heavy duty trucks)
The electronic architecture in the new models is all new and will provide the platform for much more powerful sophistication in the coming years. This takes Hino a couple of steps ahead of its direct Japanese rivals in the medium duty segment.
With the introduction of the new 500 Series Standard Cab, Hino has thrown down the gauntlet to its rivals. The question is, whether they will be willing or able to match the offer.