Benchmark regional truck dealership opened

By: Graham Gardiner

A newly opened $7million Hino truck dealership and service centre has been hailed as a model for regional truck dealerships

A newly opened $7million Hino truck dealership and service centre has been hailed as a model for regional truck dealerships of the future.

The two-hectare complex is on a main interstate artery and features drive-through service bays for vehicles up to B-double semi-trailers in size.

It has rest rooms, beds and a kitchen for drivers, as well as internet connectivity to provide operators with business facilities while their trucks are being serviced.

Serious investment in service facilities has resulted in industry leading safety inspection bays, not only for registration purposes but also for operator assurance.

The new facility has parking for up to 120 vehicles with ample off-street manoeuvring areas on a concrete hard stand, complete with wash bays.

Newcastle Hino - developed by the Bradstreet family - has been hailed by distributor Hino Motor Sales Australia as a benchmark regional development.

Customer accessibility and customer service were the two tenets of the development of the new premises, according to Hino Australia Chief Operating Officer Steve Lotter.

"For a start, the new facility is on Highway One, so it is easily accessible to passing truck operators as well as to its local customer base," he says.

"It is right next to a major, modern truck refuelling station, and is in the middle of a modern industrial complex dedicated to transport and logistics.

"Most importantly, development is practical and cost efficient, with an emphasis on service.

"The investment in the development is commensurate with market demand, both now and in the expected future."

The facility has been built to service the expected increase in demand for a new range of heavy-duty trucks.

Lotter says elements of the new premises are easily transferable to other regional operations within the economic scope of their business operations.

"There are innovations in the new premises that could significantly improve the service offered to transport operators across Australia," he says.

The Newcastle operation is the third major development by a Hino franchise holder in a year.

The company's business partners have also opened major new premises in the Illawarra and in Melbourne's Dandenong region.

The Newcastle development is the second in the area in just five years.

The Bradstreet Group opened a new - albeit smaller - sales and service outlet in suburban Hexham, although demand quickly outgrew the premises.

The Hexham facility has now been turned into a replacement parts depot for the entire Bradstreet Group of Companies.

"Hexham taught us all a lesson," Newcastle Hino general manager Sean Lynch says.

"Our customers appreciate that we build state-of-the-art facilities to service their needs and to treat them with professional respect," he says.

"It was no co-incidence our company become regional number one immediately after building the Hexham facility.

"We expect to continue this with these new facilities at Beresfield."

Newcastle Hino dominates sales of light and medium-duty commercial vehicles in the region.

The new premises have paid special attention to also accommodating the needs of heavy duty-truck operations.

"Hino is gearing up for a major assault on the heavy-duty end of the market, so it is essential to offer the service facilities necessary to meet the needs of those customers," Lynch says.

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