Hino Malaysia’s New MD Shares Immediate Focus Areas and Plans

HIno Malaysia

Friendly and passionate was the first impression. We were drawn to Atsushi Uchiyama as he spoke with conviction on his immediate focus areas, strategies and plans.

Up Close & Personal with Atsushi Uchiyama

For this issue of Truck & Bus News, we got up close and personal with Atsushi Uchiyama, 38, the youngest new Managing Director in Hino Malaysia’s history.

Uchiyama joined Hino Motors Ltd, Japan in April 2000 and was responsible for the sales and marketing in African countries for 2 years, followed by 4½ years in the Middle East countries. He was then transferred to Hino Motor Sales Thailand as Sales Division Coordinator. Prior to his posting in Malaysia, he was based in Hino Motors Ltd, Japan and in charge of sales and marketing in Malaysia and LCMV (Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam), which provided him a better understanding of the Malaysian market.

He brings with him not only an enviable track record but also a wealth of sales and marketing experience gained from the various overseas postings and industry expertise as well as genuine enthusiasm and ambition to Hino Malaysia.

Friendly and passionate was the first impression. We were drawn to him as he spoke with conviction on his immediate focus areas, strategies and plans.

“My previous overseas postings broadened my perspective and cross-cultural skills. These are vital for the Malaysian market, which is multi-racial and multi-cultural. My immediate focus would be on three main areas - to introduce new best-fit products for Malaysia, provide best-fit total support for dealers and customers as well as upgrade Hino centres.”

New best-fit products

“We see the need in ‘first and last mile travel’, meaning the first and last leg of a person’s travel within a city – be it after they come off a bus or after they park their car at LRT or MRT station, or simply do a quick trip to the corner shop or café. For people living in a city, they probably travel on the last mile on a daily basis. Hino minibus would be the best-fit product that caters not only to this need but could also be used as a hop-on, hop-off city-sightseeing tour vehicle. It is smaller in size and easier to manoeuvre through busy city and tight roads, especially suitable for Penang and Melaka, and we are currently in discussion with the government,” he said.

The new minibus, he revealed, would make its debut at the Malaysia Commercial Vehicle Expo (MCVE) 2019, which would be held from 20th to 22nd June at the Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC). “With a total length of 7m, the low-floor new Hino bus provides easy access for senior passengers and is wheel chair friendly. It has a capacity for 24 to 28 passengers and could run on B10 biodiesel. Hino is ranked number 1 in the Malaysian bus segment and with this new minibus, we are creating a new market as the minibus is a new segment for us. However, it would take time for the new minibus to be ready to hit the road as we have to put it on trial before mass production.”

Also in the pipeline is the introduction of energy efficient products such as hybrids or electric vehicles (EV). “The Malaysian government is promoting the use of EVs but looking at the current economic development, we could see that most sectors, especially the private sector, are more in favour of hybrid vehicles. I think hybrid vehicles would be the right fit at the moment for the Malaysian market; the investment is not so big compared to electric vehicles that require a charging infrastructure to be in place. Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) involving our company, Mitsui & Co Ltd, Medini Iskandar Malaysia (MIM) and Handal Indah, Hino became the first company to introduce hybrid bus technology to Malaysia.”

Hino hybrid bus, he continued, could provide about 30 per cent fuel saving compared to the conventional diesel engine city bus. Furthermore, the hybrid technology reduces CO2 emission; hence it is environmental friendly.

Besides bus, Hino has a full range of commercial vehicles, covering Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), Medium-heavy Commercial Vehicles (MHCV) to Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV), including Prime Movers. Thus, the company could cater to the different needs from diverse industries such as small business industry, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), logistics, courier services and tourism.

Hino Malaysia gained 35.5 per cent of market share in 2018. We are pretty strong in both MHCV and HCV segments as we have been in the market for 42 years and the brand is well accepted by the local market. As for the LCV segment, Hino is a latecomer compared to the other major brands. We entered this segment only in 2003 but grew rapidly in recent years. Our sales volume was quite close to those of our main competitors,” he said proudly.

He also revealed that for the HCV segment, the company would launch the Hino 700 series with automatic transmission (AT). The new AT version is designed for ‘Perfect Fit’ in line with Hino’s concept of QDR (Quality, Durability and Reliability), which the company adheres to for all its product offerings.

“Our adherence of the QDR concept is demonstrated and proven by our involvement in the Dakar Rally. We are the only Japanese team racing in the trucks category,” he added.

Best-fit customer and dealer support

Another area that Uchimaya would like to focus on is on providing the best-fit support for dealers and customers. “Malaysia is an important market for Hino as it is the 3rd largest commercial vehicle market in the Asia Pacific after Thailand and Indonesia. We strive to become the most reliable partner for customers. The establishment of Hino Total Support Customer Center (HTSCC) in Sendayan showed our commitment in providing the best-fit support for the dealers and customers.”

The HTSCC, he pointed out, was the catalyst for customers and those in the region to improve in cost, range and quality of services in their business, and also the acknowledgement of road safety. It was the first Hino training centre that was built outside Japan, which reflected not only the importance of the Malaysian market to Hino, but he added, also Hino’s view on the potential of Malaysia in developing an incessant support to the commercial vehicle industry.    

“Operating since 2015, HTSCC is constantly upgrading its programmes and increasing the list of training courses according to industry needs from last year’s 4 programmes to 7 this year. All these courses are opened to all drivers in Malaysia regardless of what brand they drive. This would help fleet owners address the issue of the lack of skilled drivers in the long run as well as enhance road safety.”

Upgrading existing Hino Centres

Up to May 2019, Hino has 36 3S (sales, service and spare-parts) centres across the nation. Currently, Uchiyama is working on upgrading the authorised dealer network.

“We want to set a new standard to ensure that all our service centres are in tandem with Hino’s objective and direction in providing a new enhanced customer experience - not just offering reliable products but also providing quality service. We are also looking to restructure and reposition our authorised dealer network. Furthermore, with the growth of our business, we found that it is important to offer a full range of services under one roof to our customers; thus we urge our dealers to upgrade from 1S (sales) centre to at least 3S status. For the existing 3S centres, we are looking to upgrade them to 4S or 5S centres, which would provide body and paint as well as used vehicle sales,” he explained.

Uchiyama is positive about the future in commercial vehicle prospects and market potential in Malaysia. “Malaysia is a developing country; there is active construction of residential buildings in urban areas, which would trigger the demand for commercial vehicles. The emphasis of the government on promoting the public transportation system and visit Malaysia campaign would also boost the demand for city buses and coaches.”

大马日野新董事经理谈当下工作重点和计划

在这一期的《卡客车新闻》,我们有幸近距离采访内山厚志(Atsushi Uchiyama)。今年才38岁的他,是马来西亚日野公司历史上最年轻的新任董事经理。

内山厚志在2000年4月加入日本日野自动车,先是负责两年非洲国家的销售及行销业务,接着转而负责4年半中东国家的销售及行销业务。之后,他被调派到泰国日野汽车销售公司出任销售部门协调员。在到马来西亚任职前,他曾服务于日本日野自动车,负责马来西亚和老挝、柬埔寨、缅甸及越南的销售与行销业务,这使他对马来西亚的市场有了更深的了解。

除了令人羡慕的业绩,他还拥有派驻海外累计下来的丰富销售及行销经验、行业知识,以及对马来西亚日野的热情与雄心。

亲切和热情是我们对他的第一个印象。听他侃侃谈起当下的工作重点、策略及计划,他坚定的语调,让人不由自主地被吸引。

“我过去派驻海外的经验,拓宽了我的视野和跨文化能力。这对马来西亚市场非常重要,因为马来西亚是个多元种族与文化的国家。我当下的重点主要在三方面-- 为大马引进最适配的产品,为代理及客户提供最适配的全方位支持,以及提升日野中心。”

最新适配产品

“我们看到了‘第一和最后一哩旅程’的需求。所谓的‘第一和最后一哩旅程’,指的是一个人在城里的第一和最后一站旅程—不管他们是从巴士下来,或是将车子停在轻快铁(LRT)或捷运(MRT)站,又或者只是到转角的商店购物或咖啡馆用餐买咖啡。住在城里的人,也许每天都在进行着最后一哩的旅程。  日野迷你巴士不仅是符合这项需求的最适配产品,而且还能被充当为环绕城市主要景点,可在各景点上下车的观光巴士。体积小的它,能在轻松操纵下通过繁忙的城市和狭窄道路,尤其适合槟城和马六甲,我们目前正在与政府商讨着。”

他透露,这款最新的迷你巴士将在2019年马来西亚商用车展(MCVE)中首发。该展会将从6月20日至22日在马来西亚国际会展中心(MIECC)盛大举行。“车长7米的全新低地板日野迷你巴士,方便老年乘客和轮椅使用者上下车。它可乘坐24至28人,适用B10生物柴油。日野在马来西亚的巴士领域名列第一,随着这款新巴士的推出,我们创造了一个新的市场,因为迷你巴士对我们来说是个新的细分市场。然而,新迷你巴士上路仍需要一些时间,因为在量产前,我们必须先进行测试。”

另外,他们也会引进节能产品如混合动力或电动车辆。“马来西亚政府正在推广电动车辆,但从目前的经济发展来看,我们认为大部分的领域,特别是私人界,比较偏好混合动力车辆。我认为混合动力车辆目前最适合马来西亚市场,而且和电动车辆比较,投资没那么大,因为后者需要充电设施。随着我们与Mitsui & Co Ltd、Medini Iskandar Malaysia (MIM),以及Handah Indah的备忘录签署,日野成为第一家将混合动力巴士科技引进马来西亚的公司。”

他继续说,日野混合动力巴士,与传统柴油引擎的城市巴士相比,能够节省高达30%的燃油。此外,混合动力技术还可降低排放,相当环保。

除了巴士,日野拥有全系列的商用车,从轻型商用车(LCV)、中重型商用车(MHCV)到包括牵引车的重型商用车(HCV)。因此,该公司能够应付来自不同行业如小企业、快速消费品(FMCG)、物流、快递服务及旅游业的不同需求。

“马来西亚日野的2018年市占额为35 .5% 。我们在中重型和重型商用车领域相当强,因为我们在本地市场已经有42年的历史了,日野品牌广为本地市场所接受。日野在轻型商用车领域,比起其它的品牌起步较迟。我们是在2003年才开始进入该市场,不过近年来我们的增长相当迅速。我们的销售量与主要竞争者的非常接近。”他自豪地表示。

他也透露说,在重型商用车方面,该公司会推出日野700系列自排车。全新的自排版是特别针对‘适配’而设计的,符合日野遵循的产品QDR(品质、耐用及可靠)理念。

“我们严格秉持的QDR理念,在达喀尔拉力赛中获得展示和证实的机会。我们是唯一一家参加卡车级别竞赛的日本赛车队。”

最适配的客户和代理支援

为客户和代理提供最适配的支援是内山厚志的另一个工作重点。“马来西亚是日野的一个重要市场,因为它是泰国和印尼之后,亚太地区的第三大市场。我们努力成为客户最可信赖的伙伴。位于士拉央(Sendayan)的全方位客户支援中心(HTSCC)显示了  我们为代理和客户提供最适配支援的承诺。”

他指出,该中心是客户和区域性业者改善他们的业务成本、系列及服务品质的催化剂 ,同时也是对公路安全的认可。他补充,它是日野在日本之外的第一家海外培训中心,而这不仅显示了大马市场对日野的重要性,而且也反映了日野认为马来西亚在为商用车发展不间断支援方面极具潜能。

“HTSCC自2015年营运以来,不断地按照行业需求提升其项目和培训课程,从去年的4个课程增加到今年的7个课程。这些课程开放给所有的大马驾驶员参加,不论他们驾驶的是哪一个品牌的车子。长期下来,这不但将有助于解决缺乏训练有素的驾驶员的问题, 还可加强交通安全。”

提升日野中心

截至2019年5月,日野在全马拥有36家3S(销售、服务及备件)中心。目前,内山厚志正在着手提升他们的授权代理商网络。

“我们要建立一个新的标准,确保我们所有的服务中心与日野的目标和方向一致,为客户带来一个提升的客户经验---不仅提供可靠的产品,还有优质的服务。我们也在着手重组和重新定位我们的授权代理商网络。此外,随着我们业务的增长,我们发现在同一个屋檐下,为客户提供全系列的服务很重要。因此,我们呼吁我们的代理将他们的1S(销售)中心升级到至少3S的标准。至于那些现有的3S中心,我们则会将他们升级为4S或5S中心,也就是包括车身喷漆及二手车销售。”他解释。

内山厚志对大马的商用车前景和市场潜能表示乐观。“马来西亚是一个发展中的国家,城市住宅楼的兴建工作不断,而这将带动商用车的需求。政府积极推广公共交通系统和马来西亚旅游促销活动,也会带来城市巴士和长途巴士需求。”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.

Phone: (60) 3 7781 1323

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