Isuzu Australia Limited Announces New Managing Director & CEO
Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) has announced the appointment of Mr Koichi Yoda as Managing Director and CEO, replacing Mr Masayuki (Yuki) Murata who held the position for eight years.
Mr Yoda, who officially took over the role on 1 April, has an extensive background with Isuzu Motors Limited, including several senior postings.
He began his career at Isuzu in 1980 after finishing university with a law degree; he spent nine years at Isuzu Motors, Japan, before transferring to American Isuzu Motors Inc. in 1989.
Mr Yoda spent seven years in total working in North America where he held several senior positions including CFO of American Isuzu Motors Inc.
Upon returning to Japan, he was assigned to other senior roles including General Manager for the GM Project Department and later, the North American Operations Department.
In 2008 Mr Yoda was appointed CEO of GM Isuzu Camiones Andinos (Colombia & Ecuador) before again returning to Japan in 2011 to take on the responsibility of Associate Division Executive for Export Sales Division No.1.
Mr Yoda cites his time in South America as one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences in his career.
“The venture represented Isuzu’s first foray into South America and as such there were many challenges to overcome in setting up these operations,” he said.
“We worked closely with General Motors in a joint venture and achieved some excellent sales results as well as increasing brand awareness.”
Mr Yoda said he looked forward to the opportunities and challenges the Australian role would bring.
“The Australian market is an extremely important one for Isuzu Motors,” he said.
“With 23 years of consecutive truck market leadership here, the Isuzu brand has a tremendous presence and history in this country. Our strong performance in Australia over many years is certainly held in the highest regard by Isuzu Motors, Japan.”
According to Mr Yoda, the Australian market is unique and although IAL enjoys a strong position here, there are future challenges to overcome.
“Australia is a sophisticated and mature market,” he said. “Regulatory requirements are strict and many manufacturers compete here. A few years ago the bulk of Isuzu’s direct competition came from Japanese manufactures, but more recently Korean companies have entered the market along with some Chinese competitors.
“With the increasing competitive pressure it’s important that Isuzu continues to provide customers with a total offering – it’s not just about the product itself but the support services we can provide our customers.
“From what I’ve seen, IAL is very customer-centric and a leader in customer care – it’s important that this continues for our ongoing market success. I’ll be working hard for IAL in any way possible to maintain and increase our position in the market into the future.”
Yuki Murata – European assignment
Outgoing Managing Director and CEO, Yuki Murata, has been assigned to Europe to take on the role of Chairman, Isuzu Motors Europe Ltd.
Mr Murata said he had very much enjoyed his eight years at the helm of IAL and the friendships and associations he’d made over this time. He also expressed confidence that Mr Yoda would provide a very positive impact on IAL.
“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with IAL for eight years and will have many fond memories of my time here,” he said.
“I have no doubt that IAL’s success will continue under Yoda-san and I look forward to hearing of Isuzu Trucks achieving 25 years and more as No.1.”