In April, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., (ICTA) promoted Shaun Skinner to president, replacing Hisao Sasaki and becoming the first American to hold this position. He previously served as executive vice president and general manager of ICTA. He also serves as president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of Canada. With 29 years under his belt with Isuzu, almost evenly split between the light-duty side and the Commercial Truck division, he has a good understanding of the culture within the company. With Skinner at the helm, will he be a harbinger of change?
I had the opportunity to speak with Shaun recently and hear first-hand how he sees ICTA moving forward. The following is an excerpt from our conversation.
MWS: Will there be a change or new focus with you as president of ICTA?
SKINNER: The change won’t be overnight and it won’t be revolutionary; it will be an evolution as we try to grow our company in a different way—to be more market-based in our approach and more focused on our customers and dealers. The information gathered at that level will then be communicated to our parent company, Isuzu Motors Limited.
The new 2018 FTR is a fitting example. It’s a Class 6, 4-cyclinder, urban delivery vehicle with a cab-forward design. A lot of the design work was done in the United States by our engineering group at the Isuzu Technical Center of America, located in Plymouth, Michigan. It’s new for us to have design work done in the US; most of the design work has historically been done in Japan.
Another example of us becoming a more market-based company is the opening of two, new Centers of Excellence: one in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to service the dealers and operations in the Northeast, and one in Anaheim, California, for dealer training on the service of our vehicles.
We’ll have field service engineers working at a regional level out of these centers to be closer to our customers and dealers; technical assistance people will be there, too. So, not only are we changing organizationally, we are really putting our money where our mouth is and investing in the product we are designing and adding support for our customers and dealers. Parts will also be available out of these Centers of Excellence to minimize downtime and improve the overall experience of owning an Isuzu work truck.
In essence, Skinner has taken a look back at the history of operations within ICTA to envision the future of the company with dealers and customers in mind, creating the foundation for the best ownership experience throughout the lifecycle of an Isuzu work truck.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Donna Campbell is editor in chief of Modern WorkTruck Solutions and Modern Contractor Solutions. This monthly column will feature commentary on trending issues for work truck and transportation matters.