Isuzu Australia introduces new chief

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) has announced the appointment of Koichi Yoda as its managing director and CEO, replacing Masayuki (Yuki) Murata who held the position for eight years.

Yoda san, who officially took the reins on April 1, 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, where he held several senior positions over the next seven years.

Upon returning to Japan, he was assigned senior roles including general manager for the GM project department and later, the North American operations department.

In 2008 Yoda san was appointed chief executive of GM Isuzu Camiones Andinos (Colombia and Ecuador) before again returning to Japan in 2011 to take on the responsibility of associate division executive for export sales division No.1.

He describes his time in South America as one of the most interesting and rewarding of his career to date.

“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 increased brand awareness.”

Yoda san said he looked forward to the opportunities and challenges the Australian role would bring.

“Australia is a sophisticated and mature market with strict regulatory requirements, and many manufacturers compete here,” he said. “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 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.”