ISUZU UTE Appoints New Managing Director

Following the last four years as Managing Director of Isuzu UTE Australia (IUA), Mr. Hiroyasu Sato is set to pass on the mantle to Mr. Junta Matsui, a 15-year veteran who has led various global Isuzu and Mitsubishi Corporation divisions. Serving as a senior leadership figure across various retail and new business development divisions abroad, Mr. Matsui will commence his position as IUA’s new Managing Director on the 20th of March 2023.

Originally hailing from Yokohama City, Japan, Mr. Matsui joined the Isuzu Business Division of Mitsubishi Corporation in 2008, overseeing operations at Tri Petch Isuzu Sales Co., Ltd., until 2012, before assuming responsibility for new business developments across the Auto and Mobility divisions of Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, India and Africa.

This leadership change will assist with IUA’s momentum in continuing its retail sales growth as operations recover from the effects of the ongoing pandemic, as well as a customer-centric approach which has earned the brand awards for customer satisfaction—an area that Mr. Hiroyasu Sato set his focus on during his tenure.

Mr. Junta Matsui - IUA's New Managing Director

In 2022 with Mr. Sato at the helm, IUA charted as one of Australia’s top-10 Automotive brands for the first time ever, as the 9th best-selling brand locally, with 35,323 vehicles sold and delivered. This sales growth can be attributed to the commitment to customer satisfaction, along with the implementation of new product updates to the popular D-MAX ute and MU-X SUV striking a chord with local motorists.

Growing alongside new D-MAX and MU-X orders and deliveries locally has been IUA’s growing customer satisfaction index, which received critical acclaim from Australia’s leading independent consumer research organisations, Roy Morgan and Canstar Blue—awarding the marque back-to-back ‘Car Manufacturer of the Year’ titles, at the 2020 and 2021 Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards and the ‘2021 Canstar Blue Customer Satisfaction Award for New Cars’ title at the 2021 Canstar Blue Awards.

Following his four year stint in the top position, Mr. Sato is set to return to Thailand to assume the presidency of Mitsubishi Company (Thailand) Ltd and Thai-MC Company in Bangkok, Thailand.

Coinciding with the announcement of the leadership change at the annual IUA National Dealership Meeting, outgoing IUA Managing Director, Mr. Sato said he was “sincerely thankful for the support over the years, proud of IUA’s resilience and tenacity during the last few turbulent years and is confident in Mr. Matsui’s business development experience across numerous global markets the key to continuing to lead IUA to future success.”

“IUA’s position in the market has never been as strong as it is today, and we have our Dealers and Customers to thank for that. Undoubtedly, Mr. Matsui’s extensive history of leading various global mobility divisions for Isuzu fills me with absolute confidence that, under his leadership, IUA will continue to go from strength to strength.” Elaborating on the leadership change, he continued with, “Matsui-san’s appointment comes at the right time for IUA, his experience is key to IUA’s future success.”

“Along with the honour of welcoming the latest-generation D-MAX and MU-X to our shores in 2020 and 2021 via YouTube—which was a high career highlight for me—it has been a privilege to lead the team and Dealer network that has shaped the marque into the top-10 automotive brand that many Australians know and trust today.”

Speaking to the 140 Dealer staff and IUA department heads in the meeting, Mr. Sato concluded by saying, “please allow me to send my sincere gratitude to all of you, for supporting me through this very interesting and ultimately successful four year journey… I wish you all the best and every success for the future. Thank you!”

Mr. Matsui’s appointment will lead IUA’s board of directors, which includes Mr. Takeshi Yasui who oversees Parts, Aftersales and Accessories operations, Mr. Koichiro Yoshida who oversees Sales, Marketing and Product Planning functions, and Ms. Reiko Sato, who leads the Finance, IT, HR and Administration areas of the business.

Reflecting on the position of the brand locally and the team behind it, Mr. Matsui remarked that “the leadership team have been instrumental in steering the brand through one of the most challenging periods in the last decade.” 

Under Mr. Sato’s watch, there have been clear results thanks to the continued to focus on sustainable sales growth, whilst also concentrating on customer satisfaction and retention—three crucial areas that I plan to continue driving forward.”

“With the market showing promising signs of recovery and both the D-MAX and MU-X proving popular towards the top of their respective segments, I’m hopeful we can build on the momentum that Sato-san has set for IUA,” Mr. Matsui continued.

With IUA’s focus on sales growth and customer satisfaction continuing into 2023, IUA is currently positioned as Australia’s 10th best-selling automotive brand, with 1,931 D-MAX utes and 2,053 MU-X SUVs sold and delivered so far across the first two months of 2023.