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Fuso and Hino Offer Swag in Southeast Asia Two leading Japanese truck makers are bolstering their after-sales services to further cement their solid positions in Southeast Asia.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus will start building a chain of 24-hour repair shops in Indonesia, while Hino Motors has built a free safe-driving school in Malaysia. The moves are meant to boost brand image and customer loyalty -- and eventually to capture demand for replacement parts and vehicles in the large and growing region.
The strategy marks an evolution from just selling trucks to building a loyal customer base in Southeast Asia, where about 2 million trucks were sold in 2016. That is about 10 times the figure in Japan, according to U.S. research company Frost & Sullivan.
Japanese truck-makers have so far been slow to develop their after services. Although they control about 80% to 90% of each of the region's markets, rivals such as Ford Motor of the U.S. and Hyundai Motor of South Korea are becoming more aggressive.
Mitsubishi Fuso's Indonesian repair shops will be set up by a joint venture. Trading house Mitsubishi Corp. will be among the partners. By the end of the year, five large shops, which will also sell trucks, will be set up along artery roads. The outlets will be capable of replacing key components or performing extensive repairs; they will accept jobs around the clock. They will also send wreckers to accident sites.
Ten other repair shops that will handle lighter work are to open by the end of the year. These will keep regular daytime business hours, and perform simple repairs and parts replacements.
Trucks have longer usage lives and travel longer distances than passenger cars. As such, the company thinks it is important to keep in touch with customers and increase contact points with them. The planned outlets are expected to play a key role in this regard.
Mitsubishi Fuso aims to raise its top 46% share of Indonesia's market to 50% within three years.
Hino Motors set up the driving school in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan, south of Kuala Lumpur, through a local subsidiary. The facility provides safe-driving instruction to Hino truck users for free.
The 200 million-yen ($1.79 million) facility, built on a tract measuring about 39,600 sq. meters, has a practice road complete with curves, hills and a space for practicing parallel parking. There are also lessons on doing repairs, inspecting vehicles and saving fuel.
Mitsubishi Fuso eyes 24-hour repair shops; Hino giving free driving lessons.


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