Local news

Expanded premises for Hino Mobeni

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Hino Mobeni, in KwaZulu-Natal, one of six exclusive Hino truck dealerships in the McCarthy Group, now has much larger premises following the removal of the McCarthy Toyota dealership from this site on the very busy South Coast Road to a new location in Edwin Swales Drive in Durban.

Hino Mobeni's site now covers 9 635m2, which is almost three times the size of the previous truck dealership that used only a portion of this site. The area under roof has gone up by 150% to 959m2.

The opportunity was taken not only to extend the available space, but also to renovate the buildings and paint the whole facility. A major benefit is that the offices are now in a facility used previously for the Automark used car operation, which has in turn freed up space to extend the parts operation, which carries R1-million in stock on site and has new consignments arriving daily.

However, one of the most important benefits of the site expansion is improving service levels for the benefit of its customers. Not only are there now 12 service bays, which is three times more than previously, but there is also plenty of space for the parking and servicing of trailers. In fact, service manager Adrian Wilkinson says the servicing of trailers will be an important additional business opportunity as Hino Mobeni is located in an industrial area where many major transport and logistics companies are situated.

Hino Mobeni dealer principal Troy Roper says he is very proud that the dealership has been enlarged significantly and renovated but says he realises that the pressure will now be on him to increase turnover substantially.

 "However, I fortunately have a very able team of 23 enthusiastic employees who are up to the challenge of growing the business," said Roper. "Last year we had a customer experience index of 97.5% and in 2013 Mobeni was the top Hino dealership in the McCarthy Group so I have a strong foundation on which to build. We will be increasing the sales staff to three as we aim to double our monthly new trucks sales target while looking to build up a viable used truck operation too.

"We already have a well-respected parts and service team and look after the local needs of a number of major fleets, including Shoprite Checkers, Unitrans and Motorvia. We operate two mobile service vehicles which are proving a boon to customers by cutting downtime, while we are also an important member of Hino South Africa's national roadside assistance programme," added the Hino Mobeni dealer principal.

Roper himself has a long history with the McCarthy Group, having first joined the company in 1992 as a heavy truck driver. He subsequently became an apprentice diesel technician after which he progressed to service manager and then general manager.

Hino Mobeni has only been a full Hino dealer since 2011. Up until that time it had operated as a satellite for Hino Pinetown, which has been one of the top performing Hino dealers in South Africa for many years, with accolades which include five Dealer of the Year awards and five runner-up trophies.

This is the same situation as was the case at Hino Midrand, which was a satellite of the McCarthy truck dealership in Selby, Johannesburg, until 2005 and is now one of the largest and most successful Hino dealerships in the network.

The other McCarthy Hino truck dealerships are located in Pietermaritzburg and Empangeni. These six McCarthy outlets are currently responsible for an average of more than 23% of Hino SA's national sales after the first eight months of 2015.

Speaking at the official opening of the revamped Hino Mobeni facility Hennie de Villiers, who is responsible for Hino Midrand as well as overseeing the other five Hino dealerships in the McCarthy Group, said there would be increased focus on human capital going forward.

"This will include a programme to train young people through mentoring programmes in the various dealerships," explained De Villiers. "Already there were two people on this programme at Hino Midrand and I am encouraging the other McCarthy dealers to have at least one person on this mentorship programme as we find our current staff ageing and we need younger replacements as they retire. It will be to our benefit if they are trained in our facilities," concluded De Villiers.

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