Hino Australia has announced a series of senior management changes to start the new year.
The restructure plan is part of a long-term aim to strengthen its Australian operation and develop the experience of its leadership team in line with its customer-focused business plan.
Following his success as President and COO over the last two years, Sam Suda moved into the role of President and CEO on 1 January 2021, where he is now supported by two new Vice Presidents.
Suda has over 30 years of experience with Toyota in Australia, Europe and Japan and, more recently, with Hino in the USA.
In another senior management change, Bill Gillespie has assumed the new role of Vice President – Brand and Franchise Development, after success in the General Manager role of that division over the past six years at Hino following a 30 year career in strategy, network development, marketing and sales in the automotive industry.
The Brand and Franchise Development Division encompasses Sales, Supply Chain, Franchise Development, Product Strategy, Marketing and Bus departments, all of which have been areas of significant focus for Hino recently.
The truckmaker said it was moving further to a holistic customer focus by bringing all elements of customer support into one division. To fit with this Greg Bleasel, a founding member of Hino Motor Sales Australia, has been promoted to the new position of Vice President – Product Support from the General Manager role.
His expanded responsibilities now include Information Technology alongside Customer Experience, Parts Sales, Parts Supply Chain, Service and Technical Support and National Training departments.
Having started in March 1995, Bleasel has grown the Parts and Service business over the last 25 years, success which has been recognised with numerous Hino global awards for both the Parts and Service operations.
“It’s a time of great growth in Hino and these new appointments are designed to offer strong leadership across the brand and within our company as we move into 2021 and beyond,” said Sam Suda.
“As Hino Australia transforms from a truck company to a customer solutions business, these changes will provide our customers with the support they require while ensuring we continue to develop the capacity and capabilities of our team and the network,” he continued.
“Outstanding leadership by Bill and Greg has been instrumental in Hino becoming one of Australia’s leading truck brands during a period of tremendous change, including during the global COVID-19 situation.”
As part of the restructure, two new General Manager level positions have been created with Brian Wright promoted to General Manager – Sales and Supply Chain and Gus Belanszky to General Manager – Service and Customer Support.
Wright was previously the National Sales Manager for Hino, and his success in that role has included Hino achieving its best ever sales result in Australia in June 2020.
He brings over 30 years of sales experience in both passenger cars and trucks to his new role, which now encompasses the vital area of the vehicle Supply Chain to support the company’s sales expansion plans.
Belanszky’s move, according to Hino, follows his extensive experience over the last 14 years with Hino Australia, most recently as Service Support Manager.
“He now leads a vital customer-centric strategy providing fleet customers with solutions, which is what we know they expect from their reliable truck business partner,” said Suda.
His new role includes the functions of Customer Experience, Technical Support, Service Support and Training.
“These new roles support the ongoing innovation drive within Hino and transition us from just a truck company to a customer solutions company,” Suda said.
“Hino is celebrating 55 years of success in Australia in 2020 and these changes will allow the brand to capitalise on a growing Australian market for light and medium duty trucks over the next five years,” he concluded.
All of the appointments were effective from 1 January 2021.
(Image: Sam Suda, Hino Australia President & CEO).