This year, Isuzu Trucks celebrated 50 years of operation in Australia. Underpinning some of the largest and some of the most adventurous motorhomes in the market, Isuzu is of course best known for its small trucks.
Of those 50 years of successful business, Isuzu can also lay claim to no less than 33 consecutive years of market leadership in one of the most competitive truck markets in the world.
Joining a long line of key contributors to this milestone is current Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) director and chief operating officer, Andrew Harbison, who lauded the ‘Isuzu family’, both past and present.
“There’s little doubt the story of Isuzu in this country has been underpinned by a fantastic product, born out of a union between a Tokyo ship-building company and an energy producer back in 1916.
“Both companies were motivated by the clear vision to build quality vehicles. Hidden somewhat is the story of the people and the commitment of those people to deliver superior support, better ideas and the best service in the business, said Mr Harbison.
Introduced to Australia by General Motors Holden (GMH) in 1972, Isuzu trucks were initially marketed as ‘Bedford by Isuzu’, which helped appeal to an audience unfamiliar with the brand. The Bedford-badged trucks built buyer confidence and were the nucleus of the Isuzu brand. Just three years later, Isuzu’s proven performance and exceptional reliability saw the product gain widespread market acceptance and the ‘Bedford’ name was dropped; leaving the Isuzu brand to stand on its own in a keen Australian market.
“Isuzu General Motors Limited (I-GM) was formed in 1989 and the year also marked the beginning of Isuzu’s truck market leadership in Australia,” Mr Harbison noted.
Isuzu’s best known 4WD truck, the NPS300, was introduced in 1992 and quickly became the best-selling 4×4 truck in Australia – a position it still holds today. As ‘Y2K’ came and went, the brand announced the General Motors’ sale of its 40 percent stake in I-GM, in 2005, to Isuzu Motors Limited (Japan), marking an important milestone. The Australian subsidiary was now 100 percent owned by Isuzu.
As IAL looks towards the next 50 years of business, a new breed of leadership has been warmly welcomed, with the business expanding its sales, innovation and strategy platforms.
“We’re extremely proud of our past achievements, the industry firsts and our mantle as a trusted road transport solutions provider for Australian businesses,” Mr Harbison said. “Similarly, we’re acutely aware of what awaits us as an industry leader.
“Change is well and truly upon us, and we’re continually working to assemble the best and brightest in the business.We’ve bolstered our capabilities in a number of areas, principally under the overarching banners of ‘Strategy and Innovation’,” Mr Harbison concluded.