Hino Motors, Ltd. ( Hino Jidosha), commonly known as simply Hino, is a manufacturer of diesel trucks, buses, and other vehicles, based in Hino, Tokyo, Japan. The company has been the leading producer of medium and heavy-duty diesel trucks in Japan. Hino Motors is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a subsidiary and a part of Toyota Motor Corporation group along with Lexus, Daihatsu and also a member of Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
The Hino Motors that we know of today is a subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corporation and a leading manufacturer of buses, trucks, and engines.
The origins of the Hino Motor Company begin with the Tokyo Gas Industry Company, which started in 1910. As a leader in its industry, the company was able to expand its line of products and eventually built the model TGE A type Truck in 1917. By 1937, this company decided to merge itself with several other Japanese companies to form the Tokyo Automobile Industry Company, which was later renamed the Diesel Motor Industry Company.
Interestingly enough these are the same founding companies that went on to create Isuzu motors, but in 1942 a portion of the company was spun off to create Hino Heavy Industry Company Limited, which marked the beginning of the company as we know it. Its name derived from the company headquarters location of Hino City within Tokyo.
From its beginning, Hino focused on diesel engines, heavy duty trucks, and buses. There is a brief period where they attempt to enter the private car industry through a partnership with Renault, but that is quickly put aside around 1967 when Hino first partners with the Toyota group. By 1984 Hino trucks enters the US market with a medium duty truck designed with the cab over engine. Their first attempt at a practical use for a hybrid vehicle occurs in 1991 with a hybrid diesel and electric engine system to power a bus in Japan.
In 2003 Hino officially becomes a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Company, and its medium duty and heavy duty trucks are re-introduced into the US. That same year Toyota and Hino jointly develop the first hydrogen fuel cell bus service in Japan. Over the next two years Hino introduces hybrid light duty and medium duty trucks to Japan.
This commitment to hybrid and electric technologies places Hino on a path to develop some of the most cutting edge commercial vehicles in the world. Currently, the company is testing a method of hybrid electric bus that does not require a plug for charging. Instead, a wireless system is built into the road to charge the batteries of the bus, so that it can continue to operate without the need for additional fuel.
Today, Hino is 3rd when it comes to the largest truck manufacturers in the world. As the fastest growing medium duty and heavy duty truck manufacturer in the US, and a leader in both diesel and hybrid technologies the Hino brand has a bright future ahead of it.