Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) launched its new medium-duty truck model in Indonesia, which is the first iteration of its modular design products. This is the first time Hino will be launching the production of a new model outside of Japan, according to the company.

Hino’s customers in Indonesia have utilized Hino trucks and buses for over three decades. Sales of the light-duty "market best-fit vehicle" truck, introduced in 2010, has grown steadily to the point where the sales volume of Hino vehicles overall is now second only to that in Japan, according to the company.

The development of market best-fit vehicles based on modular designs was one of the initiatives driving the company’s growth strategy, which was included in the mid-term corporate plan announced in April 2012. Commercial vehicles represent capital assets that customers use for their business operations.

Because there is great diversity in the types of cargo as well as the applications that need to be addressed in the commercial vehicles market, this results in high-mix low-volume production, where the number of models continues to grow as the number of units per model remains small, according to Hino. In addition, the kinds of parts tend to increase with the number of models.

In response to these issues, Hino introduced the modular concept in its development process, where parts and components are categorized as either core parts that form the foundation of a model, or peripheral parts used for making customizations to vehicles based on customer requests.

By designing core parts for shareability and producing them in Japan and increasing the number of locally sourced parts, the company said it has gained the ability to produce a diverse range of vehicles in locales that are geographically nearer to their ultimate market destinations. This enables the company to deliver models that best suit customers' needs at shorter lead times. Over the next few years, Hino plans to expand the regions and markets where it provides these new modular models.

The company also said it's working toward optimizing its global production systems.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet