Today Isuzu Motors South Africa announced a number of key leadership appointments in support of the purchase of the Isuzu related assets from General Motors South Africa, effective January 2018 and subject to various regulatory approvals:
Haruyasu Tanishige, in addition to his current role of Senior Executive officer for the Sales Division of Isuzu Motors in Japan, will be appointed to the position of Chairman of Isuzu Motors South Africa. Tanashige will continue to be based in Tokyo at Isuzu’s headquarters.
With immediate effect Michael Sacke, currently CFO for GM South Africa, will be appointed as Chief Operations Officer and CFO to assume responsibility for the transition of GM South Africa’s operations to Isuzu Motors by year-end and also to ensure the integration of the Isuzu truck and light commercial businesses. Following this he will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Isuzu Motors South Africa.
Other key appointments include the following:
- The current Isuzu Trucks South Africa Managing Director, Hiroaki Sugawara, will we appointed to the position of Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Planning;
- The current Isuzu Trucks South Africa Chief Operations Officer, Craig Uren, will be appointed to the position Executive Officer, Sales, Service and Marketing;
- And from Isuzu Motors Japan Mitsuteru Yageta will be appointed as Group CFO.
“We are very excited about the appointment of Michael Sacke as he has had a long association with Isuzu Motors, including serving as Board Member of Isuzu Trucks South Africa for the past nine years,” said Tanishige, “He will play a key role in ensuring the successful transition of the South African operations to the new Isuzu Motors South Africa business.”
Tanishige said that South Africa was the first market outside of Japan where Isuzu had acquired a 100% ownership of manufacturing and distribution operations. “We view South Africa as a key market for future growth and will be looking to maximise the benefits of integrating our light commercial and truck businesses together.”
He said that while it was premature to comment on Isuzu’s future plans, as the new company would only be fully operational from January 2018, the company did see opportunities to strengthen and grow its base in South Africa. “Our immediate priorities though will be to ensure the successful establishment of the company, while at the same time strengthening our support to customers.”
Isuzu vehicles have had a presence in South Africa since assembly began over 44 years ago. Sales of the Isuzu KB bakkie have increased by 7.6% July 2017 year to date versus the same period last year. For the past four years, Isuzu has occupied the number one position in the medium- and heavy-duty commercial truck segment of the South African market.
Prior to this appointment and since 2009, Sacke served in the role of GM Africa Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the financial operations of GM in Africa. Previously Sacke held a number of positions within the Finance Department of GM including positions at the company’s headquarters in Detroit from 2006 until 2008. Sacke began his automotive industry career in 1997 at Delta Motor Corporation. He held several positions including Manager of Financial Accounting and Risk Manager and Company Secretary at Delta.