Prime Mover Magazine

New business unit to focus on innovation at Isuzu

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) has created an Innovation business unit as it prepares for transformative disruptions in the marketplace.

Changes in both the global and domestic transport sectors has prompted the creation of a unit responsible for IAL's future direction as it contends with four fundamental shifts in technology better known within the industry as CASE – connected, autonomous, shared and electric trucks.

Grant Cooper, who was appointed to the position of Head of Innovation in March last year, will oversee the department.

According to a statement from the commercial vehicle manufacturer, Cooper whose background in strategy consulting work is suited to solving problems and delivering growth through customer-led innovation, has been a key part of the IAL team for the past three years.

"Cooper 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," Isuzu said.

Following the recent move to enter into a strategic alliance with Volvo Group and technology sharing arrangement with Honda R&D to jointly undertake fuel cell electric vehicle technology on commercial vehicles, Isuzu has expanded its focus on delivering its existing customer offerings as the market undergoes unprecedented change.

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.”

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.

The programs according to Cooper will be 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," he said.

“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," Cooper continued.

“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,” Cooper said.

(Image: Grant Cooper, IAL Head of Innovation).

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