Hino is defiant
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HINO importer HCV Motor Vehicles Ltd says it is undaunted by growing criticism of its British operation, and boasts a growing list of prospective dealers.
Company managing director Liam O'Neill — he claims he has no business connection with Harris of Dublin — told CM that he has gained from adverse publicity about the company, and claims another nine applications for dealerships throughout Britain.
But the Warrington-based company, which proposes to start selling Irish-built Hinos in Britain next month (CM, August 23), has no plans to exhibit any at the Motor Show in October. "We are just not geared up to that at this stage," Seddon Atkinson has joined Leyland in protesting against what they see as "back door" imports of Japanese lorries, and has written to Trade Secretary John Nott, trades unions, and North-west MPs.
Both companies are disturbed by the risk of the Hino vehicles being dumped on the British market, and fear that their import could coincide with further redundancies in the manufacturing industry.
There is also a widespread fear that the relative secrecy surrounding the HCV operation could give Hino a further lead over established British builders.
The Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Union is also opposed to the HCV project and is planning to raise it at next month's Trades Union Congress.