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Apr 10, 2017

TRUCKMAKERS' NEW FEATURES * Japan - Truck makers delivering relief to weary drivers

* Tokyo - Trucks with features to ease labor shortage are coming

--- Japanese truck companies are busy rolling out new models they say will help resolve the labor crunch currently afflicting the industry... Hino Motors unveiled its first fully redesigned Ranger midsize truck in 16 years on Wednesday at an event in Saitama. The heavy-duty Profia received its first full makeover in 14 years and will be available for purchase later this year... Hino sought to answer that demand by focusing on improving the operating performances of trucks. The new models come equipped with a communication system allowing remote monitoring of vehicle conditions in real time. Sensors inside the trucks relay data to truck dealers, who then give a heads up on when it's time for maintenance... Rival Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus has teamed up with UD Trucks to develop driver-friendly rigs. Their trucks featuring automatic transmissions are expected to help female and older drivers not used to driving stick, as well as boost fuel economy... Resolving the shortage of truck drivers hinges on attracting females and seniors. "Ease of driving will become an important trend," predicts Hino's Ichihashi... Unit sales of trucks capable of carrying at least four tons rose 11.2% in fiscal 2016 to 98,106, the seventh straight year of expansion... 
(Photo: Hino Motors unveiled fully redesigned midsize and heavy-duty trucks)  --  Saitama, Japan - Nikkei, by YUKI HANAI - April 6, 2017

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