Truck and bus maker taps East African marketing capabilities of Toyota Tsusho
Hino Motors, Ltd., begins marketing trucks in Kenya this month in partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation. It markets the trucks through the sales channels of Toyota Tsusho’s wholly owned vehicle distributor Toyota Kenya Limited. The partners commemorated the event with a ceremony on June 6 (June 7, Japan time) at Hino’s newly established sales and service center in Nairobi.
Heading the contingent of dignitaries and other guests at the ceremony were Adan Abdulla Mohammed, the head of Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, and Toshihisa Takata, the Japanese ambassador to Kenya. On hand to welcome the guests were Hino president Yoshio Shirai and Toyota Tsusho executive vice president Mikio Asano.
The ceremony was an opportunity to unveil Hino’s new sales and service center, to showcase the truck model series that Hino will market in Kenya, and to emphasize Hino and Toyota Tsusho’s joint commitment to Kenya. “We regard Kenya as a very important market,” declared Hino’s Shirai at the June 6 ceremony. “And we will work with Toyota Kenya to maximize customer satisfaction through the entire sequence of activity from marketing to after-sales service.” “The Hino presence will stimulate demand in the Kenyan market,” added Toyota Tsusho’s Asano. “It will contribute to the fulfilment of the Kenyan government’s Vision 2030 goals for national development.”
Kenya is a core member of the five-nation East African Community, and its market for commercial vehicles is poised for growth as the community continues to post robust economic expansion. Hino’s initial offering to serve that growth potential is the HINO 500 Series, the truck maker’s best-selling model line outside Japan. Its sales target for the first year of marketing in Kenya is 300 vehicles. A Kenyan company has contracted with Hino to assemble the trucks from sets of parts imported from Japan.
Hino has built strong market positions in Asia and Oceania and in Latin America, and the truck maker is moving to position Africa as its next principal overseas market. The commitment to Kenya is Hino’s initial move in implementing that strategy. Hino brings to Africa the same focus that has energized the company’s growth in other regions: a focus on maximizing quality, durability, and reliability; on matching products optimally to local needs; and on providing a full range of customer support.
Toyota Tsusho has been distributing vehicles in Africa since 1964. The company is moving to position Africa as its principal operational region outside Japan, along with Asia and Oceania, China, North America, and Europe. It has built an extensive distribution network for vehicles in Africa, centered on eight wholly or majority-owned national distributors. Through that network, the company accompanies vigorous marketing with thorough and conscientious after-sales service. Toyota Tsusho has thus laid a solid foundation for vehicle distribution in Africa, and that foundation promises to support steady growth in African markets for Hino.
Summary of Hino’s operations in Kenya
Name Toyota Kenya Limited
Representative Sachio Yotsukura
Established April 1, 1999
Paid-in capital 445 million Kenyan shillings
Ownership Toyota Tsusho 100%
Business Importing, marketing, and servicing passenger cars, trucks, and motorcycles
Employees 503 (as of December 2012)
Hino product deployment
Initial vehicle model HINO 500 Series
Local assembler Associated Vehicle Assemblers Limited
Sales targets Year to March 31, 2014: 300 vehicles Year to March 31, 2015: 450 vehicles
Sales and Service Center
Name Nairobi Hino
Site 10,340 square meters
Floor space 2,050 square meters
Functions Sales office, service workshop, replacement parts distribution center
Employees 18 (initially)
Start of operation June 2013