DEALERS

New location for Hino dealer

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Hino Pretoria-North has moved premises and changed its name. This long-established Hino truck dealer is now located at 1 Visagie Street, Pretoria West, and has changed its name to Hino Tshwane.

"When the facility was established originally as a truck dealership by the De Jongh family in 1949 in Pretoria North the location seemed ideal, but over the years the fact that it was in a residential area meant it has become unsuitable as a business site, particularly for a truck dealership," explained the dealer principal of Hino Tshwane, Henk Viljoen.

"The Imperial Group took over the business which was then trading as Toyota Trucks Pretoria North in 1983. The name was changed to HIno Pretoria North in 2011 at the time

"When we found the new site of almost 10 000m2 in Pretoria West it was ideal as it had been a truck dealership before so it only needed refurbishment and some alterations. The decision was taken at the time of the relocation to change the dealership name to make it more relevant as we represent Hino in the total Tshwane area. The refurbishment and renovations to bring the facility up to the latest Hino corporate identity standards cost R2.1-million and took a year," added Viljoen.

The dealer principal says that customers are very happy with the move to the spacious new premises which are close to major roads and situated in a business environment.

Hino Tshwane, which complies with all Hino South Africa's requirements for a dealership, is part of the Imperial Auto Commercial Vehicles Division which was established three years ago. Ian McDonald, who has many years' experience in the local truck industry was recently appointed managing director of this division.

There are four Hino dealerships in the Imperial stable besides the one in Tshwane, with the others located in Parow, Nelspruit and Germiston. Hennie Marx has headed up Imperial's Hino division since the commercial business was split from passenger cars and is very pleased with the way the Tshwane facility has turned out. He is particularly pleased with the fact that all three aspects of the operation - truck sales, service and parts sales - are showing growth since the new facility opened.

Dealer principal Henk Viljoen has extensive experience in the motor industry, having started out by establishing a company which sold tractors and agricultural equipment before joining Vaal Toyota in Vereeniging, so he has been involved with the Hino truck brand for many years. He was appointed dealer principal of Tshwane Hino in April this year.

Viljoen is fortunate in having many experienced members in his team of 30 at the Pretoria West premises. They include service manager Donald Stewart who has worked with Hino trucks for 25 years, having started as a technician, and parts manager Sharon Robinson, who has 26 years' service with the company, having started as a parts salesperson. One of the current salesmen, Pieter de Jongh, has been with the company since 1971!

Viljoen is heading up the sales team himself at present and has increased his sales force from three to five people as he believes there is plenty of potential to grow sales as there are many new potential customers in the area where the dealership is now located as well as in the great Tshwane region. Finance is available from Toyota Financial Services as well as all the major banking groups.

The workshop with huge, drive through bays has the potential to service 15-20 trucks a day while on-site equipment includes a brake tester, suspension tester and a wheel aligner. The objective is to make this a one-stop shop for truck operators. It already has tyre fitment and balancing and an on-site body builder (Jurgens), while future plans include a certified roadworthy testing station.

Weekend servicing can be arranged by special arrangement and Hino Tshwane has a 24-hour breakdown service and parts availability. A Dyna is now being equipped as a mobile workshop that can support service and repair on the road or at customer premises.

New ventures on Henk Viljoen's radar for the future include stocking body panels for supplying nearby panel beaters as well as a dedicated used truck refurbishing and sales operation.

He also places great store in correct training and all employees are sent on Hino SA courses, while five apprentices are employed in the workshop as part of an ongoing programme to attract newcomers into the retail truck business.

"This move to Pretoria West has also rejuvenated and revitalised our team members who are now eager to take on new challenges to provide ever higher levels of customer service," concluded Henk Viljoe

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