Hino confirms next-gen hybrid to be on sale mid-year

By: Greg Worrall


Less than 12 months after introducing the first mainstream hybrid vehicle to the Australian transport industry, Hino has confirmed its

Less than 12 months after introducing the first mainstream hybrid vehicle to the Australian transport industry, Hino has confirmed its successor will be on sale mid-year.

While the actual date remains a secret, a Hino spokesperson says the new truck is expected to be here ‘around’ July.

As expected, the new model will utilise the current spec 300 Series chassis, upgrading from the Dutro chassis of the 2007 model.

With all of the 2007 allocation sold, Hino is confident it will reach even more customers with the new model, although it does not think acceptance levels will match the Japanese market in the short term.

The spokesperson says total sales in Japan are close to 3500 units, and the Hybrid is now regarded as a mainstream model by the company.

Australian production models will be built on the regular production, Hino says, although it is unclear exactly how many have been earmarked for our shores.

Also being kept under wraps is the final specification for the Australian version, however there are not believed to be any deletions compared to the diesel-only model, to try and control the sale price.

In previous years, many vehicles imported into Australia were stripped down versions of what was on sale in their home market, as importers struggled with exchange rates, however the strong Australian economy and good exchange rate means that is no longer an issue.

The new model is expected to benefit from aditional hybrid research by Hino and its parent company Toyota, improving rate of charge and storage cpacity, without additional weight penalties.

"The light duty Hybrid now forms part of our standard model line up for the Australian market and will be distributed throughout the dealer network," the spokesperson says.

"We have had extensive training that has been carried out for our dealer staff and this will continue with the introduction of the Hino 300 Hybrid."

Despite the initial small sales volumes, Hino believes the Hybrid will begin to win operators over, as the environmental and economic benefits of the truck become more apparent.

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