Isuzu Motors India gets a new deputy MD in Hitoshi Kono; Wakabayashi goes back to Japan
As Shigeru Wakabayashi returns to Japan as Division COO, Isuzu Business Division at Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan, Hitoshi Kono appointed new DMD of Isuzu Motors India.
Isuzu Motors India (IMI), a subsidiary of Isuzu Motors, Japan, has announced a key change in the management with effect from February 14, 2016. Hitoshi Kono, general manager, Isuzu Asia Department, Isuzu Business Division, will succeed Shigeru Wakabayashi as deputy managing director of Isuzu Motors India. Kono has work experience of over three decades across various global markets. He was responsible for Isuzu’s Asia Department at Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan, in his earlier role and helped establish Isuzu UTE Australia in January 2008 to import and distribute the D-Max in Australia.
Shigeru Wakabayashi will assume the role of Division COO, Isuzu Business Division, Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan. The changes in the management is as per the business plans of the company.
Wakabayashi has been instrumental in driving the Isuzu brand into India. The project, which started in August 2012, has seen the launch of the D-Max pick-up and MU-7 SUV, dealership expansion and setting up a new manufacturing plant in India. Commenting on his three-and-a-half-year stint in India, Wakabayashi said, “It has been a very interesting journey so far in India and I am very happy to see Isuzu Motors India come across many milestones since inception. Isuzu has made rapid inroads into the market in a short period of time. The team at Isuzu Motors India has been aligned with the company objectives and are fully geared up to step into the next crucial phase of operations with best-in-class, customer-oriented products and services. I will continue to support the Indian operations in my capacity as Division COO of Isuzu at Mitsubishi Corporation. I wish Mr Hitoshi Kono and the Isuzu team in India the very best and I do believe, Isuzu will soon become a key player in the Indian passenger and commercial vehicle market.”
Naohiro Yamaguchi, managing director, Isuzu Motors India, said, “Mr Shigeru Wakabayashi has played an important role in the progress of the company. Under his guidance, Isuzu has achieved significant milestones across various aspects of the business. He has played an active role in interacting with customers to understand their requirements. Mr Hitoshi Kono comes with a rich experience in distribution and marketing of Isuzu products in Australia and other key emerging markets. I wish both the gentlemen the very best in their new assignments.”
Hitoshi Kono said, “I am extremely happy to be a part of the Isuzu India team. Mr Wakabayashi has set a strong tone for the future of Isuzu in India and I take over the challenge with excitement. The project has been progressing well and we are now entering a most critical launch phase of our ‘Made in India’ products. I am confident that Isuzu will make great strides in India.”
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