Isuzu Australia has announced it has created an innovation business unit in a movethe company says is in response to the ‘unprecedented rate of technological change within the global and domestic transport sectors’.
The company says the new business unit will be responsible for IAL’s transformation in the face of the four fundamental shifts disrupting the transport sector; Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric trucks—often referred to as ‘CASE’ .
Isuzu says the move accelerates the Australian subsidiary’s “long and proud history of taking existing offerings and evolving them to the benefit of local customers —a key factor in its reign at the top of the Australian truck market for the past 31 consecutive years”.
The announcement comes as Isuzu Motors in Japan recently revealed a new global initiative with the establishment of a strategic alliance with Volvo Group and a technology sharing arrangement with Honda R&D to jointly undertake research on heavy trucks using FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) technology.
Isuzu’s Australian Innovation business unit will be led by Grant Cooper, who was recently appointed to the position of head of innovation.
A key part of the IAL team for the past three years, Cooper has a background in strategy consulting working with a range of organisations to solve complex problems and deliver growth through customer-led innovation.
He brings with him a unique skill set to address the transport industry’s shifting foundation, having started his career in design and more recently completing an MBA at Melbourne Business School.
In making the announcement, IAL director and chief operating officer, Andrew Harbison, described it as the progression of an already well-honed approach Isuzu takes towards product research and development.
“Innovation is at the core of what we do at IAL, and for many years now we’ve demonstrated a constant hunger to evolve and push the boundaries with our offering,” he said.
“In the face of the industry’s CASE shift, it’s essential that we’re addressing customer’s real needs and satisfying those needs with products and services that are ‘fit for purpose’.
“We don’t see merit in hastily introducing technologies that confuse or hinder a customer’s ability to get the job done—a pattern we’re seeing increasingly in the marketplace.”
Isuzu says the new business unit will look at all elements of the impact of CASE across IAL from core products through to aftersales opportunities and services.
Mr Cooper offered some insight into ongoing innovation programs centred around data-led business efficiency and alternate powertrains.
“When it comes to Connectivity, Isuzu must be flexible enough to serve our customers with the right data, in the right place at the right time to meet their specific business needs. A seamless user experience is key to achieving this.
“Likewise, work continues apace with alternate powertrain technologies and, as we see it, all developments across product segments and customer applications share a common aim.
“It’s about ensuring that we have the right product/application fit and that it makes economic sense for our customers; the recent technology partnership announcements along with existing initiatives within our global network gives us strong arsenal to achieve this,” Mr Cooper said.