Hino Motors Sales (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, the top diesel truck maker and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty vehicles in Japan, recently opened its RM8-million upgraded Hino Total Support Customer Centre (HTSCC) that is set to be the catalyst for the company’s next level of business growth in the region.
HTSCC, the first in the world outside Japan, was built with international standard specifications similar to that in Japan to assist its customers who need to comply with the Malaysian Safety, Health and Environment Code of Practice (SHE COP).
HTSCC was built on a 39,600-square metre plot of land. Hino’s aims for HTSCC is to reach a capacity of 2,000 trainings annually. These trainings are open for truck or heavy duty vehicle drivers who would be trained with highly ethical driving skills to reduce the number of accidents, complaints and summonses and ultimately to save precious lives and business costs.
Ken Iwamoto, Managing Director, Hino Motor Sales (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, said: “The upgraded facility reaffirms our commitment to continue our investment in Malaysia as we intend to make this facility the catalyst for our local customers and those in the region. It will be a showcase of a tried and tested way to save lives, reduce accidents and business costs.
“When road accidents happen, apart from the tragic loss of lives, not many people are aware of the cost to businesses. These costs can be in the form of repairing the said vehicle, the insurance paid to the affected families, the domino effect and disruption to business flow when traffic comes to a halt and more importantly, the reputation cost to the said company or brand and the country in general.”
Quoting the Ministry of Transport statistics, he highlighted that road accidents cost Malaysia an estimated RM9.21 billion in 2016 with 521,466 accidents recorded, an increase from 489,606 in 2015. Of these road accidents, 80.6 per cent were caused by human error. In 2016, 7,152 people died in road accidents in Malaysia, an alarming jump from 6,706 deaths the year before.
The upgraded facility was built with more difficult obstacles for endurance and technical skill tests such as the slopped road for hill driving, banked road for medium speed cornering, professional driving track, wet handling and panic brake facility as well as the 830-metre driving track.
The centre also comes with a maintenance service bay, an open space canteen and a gallery to increase customers’ and public awareness on the history of Hino as a company, its technological revolution and product advancement. Hino was established in Malaysia for the past 40 years.
“Apart from providing free training to drivers of Hino vehicle owners, we would also want to encourage the public at large who wants to be a professionally certified truck driver to participate in our training programmes.
“When there are more professional truck drivers in the marketplace, we hope that such supply will spur companies, organisations and government agencies to put in place a mechanism and requirement to hire only professional truck drivers certified by HTSCC. This will not only raise the skills set required but also gear the entire transportation ecosystem to a new level of professionalism, with better service level and customer care,” emphasised Iwamoto.
Masaaki Honna, Head of HTSCC, HTSCC Division said the centre currently had 4 trainers; 2 based in Hino Motors Sales (Malaysia) headquarters in Petaling Jaya and the other 2 at HTSCC in Sendayan. “We are looking to hire one more trainer to be based in Sendayan,” he added.
For a start, HTSCC would offer extensive training courses to equip truck owners with product knowledge, safety and driving techniques. Hino’s training curriculum includes theoretical and practical courses. Its current curriculum encompasses:
1. Safety & Eco-cien Driver Training:
- This programme highlights Hino’s philosophy of creating a healthy environment by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. Skills and techniques essential for safe and economical driving that would lead to increased business profitability would be taught.
2.Driver Familiarisation Training
- This programme stresses skills and knowledge that ensure customers are familiar with vehicle periodic maintenance schedule, warranty and daily inspection.
3. Safety Driver Training
- This one-day programme emphasises safety measures to be taken while on the road.Hino intends to gradually increase the modules of its programme with four new courses that are:
- Driver Trainer Training
- Driving & Human Reaction Training
- Night Driving Training
- Drivers Aptitude Test/Training
There are also plans to provide sufficient training to equip drivers with knowledge on how and when to react in a conflict situation driving on the road and during emergencies in the near future, leading to a mind-set change in prioritising safety and ultimately helping vehicle owners save overall business costs and lives of their drivers.
Hino is currently the number one brand among truck makers in Malaysia with a market share of 35.7 per cent. In 2016, Hino Motors Sales (Malaysia) sold 5,870 medium and heavy-duty vehicles. This year the company expects to sell more than 6,000 vehicles.