Industry Operators, Transport Features

Isuzu Ballarat details award-winning mindset

Ian Deacon, Isuzu Ballarat dealer principal, says his team's focus on doing the little things right and putting the customer first has led to the dealership’s recent successes

The Victorian city of Ballarat has become well known for being at the centre of the Victorian gold rush in the 19th century. Since then, the town has continued to grow and has now become the third-largest city in Victoria. With a growing population, global companies such as Isuzu are establishing a presence. 

Over the past 25 years, Isuzu Ballarat has serviced customers in the regional Victorian city. In recent years, the dealership’s efforts has been recognised by its Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) peers with multiple Isuzu Dealer of the Year awards. 

Led by dealer principal Ian Deacon, the dealership added another trophy to its cabinet by winning the Isuzu Dealer of the Year for 2023 alongside sales dealer of the year and service dealer of the year awards. 

With IAL selling a record-breaking 47,757 trucks this past year, IAL chief of sales and aftersales Ben Lasry says dealerships, such as its Ballarat operations, continue to play a key role in helping the manufacturer reach these figures. 

“As always, our sincere thanks goes to the Isuzu Dealer Network for supporting the brand year-on-year and for playing a vital role in connecting Isuzu Trucks with transport operators at the local level,”  Lasry says. 

This latest win marks the third time in four years that the Ballarat dealership has won the prestigious Isuzu award, having also won the award in 2020 and 2022. Deacon says the awards have made his time at Isuzu more memorable since joining as a sales cadet in 2000. 

During his time at Isuzu, Deacon has enjoyed working with his colleagues at Westar Truck Centre and in Ballarat. Deacon’s 12-year stint in Ballarat has seen him and his staff put time and effort into getting the little things right like ensuring that each customer that enters the showroom is treated equally.  

An example of this is Deacon and his team taking the time to walk with the customer to the department they need rather than just pointing to it and sending them on their way. Deacon says these little details ensure the experience is more enjoyable for each customer walking through the door and gives staff a chance to build rapport. 

“Isuzu’s always been a customer-focused organisation, from the managing directors down,” Deacon says. 

“That is what has driven Isuzu’s success nationally and it’s certainly what we try and do here in Ballarat. We make decisions that are in line with what we would want if we were customers.” 

Lasry says the Ballarat Isuzu dealership has had an unrelenting focus on maintaining long-term customer relationships under Deacon’s leadership. 

Image: Isuzu Australia Limited

“The entire team at Ballarat Isuzu shares this ethos and through tried-and-true processes, long-term truck industry experience and a stable workforce, they deliver an outstanding customer experience,” Lasry told ATN. 

Deacon says the staff putting in this effort on the smaller details has seen the big things take care of themselves, including taking out this year’s Isuzu Dealer of the Year award. 

This is Isuzu Ballarat’s sixth Dealer of the Year award under Deacon’s leadership. Even though his team won the award for three consecutive years between 2016 and 2018, Deacon is optimistic about going back-to-back-to-back again with additional wins in the future. This success mindset is further emboldened with the anticipated launch of a new upgraded facility which is expected to open on July 1. 

Among the key features of the new dealership are 22 workshop bays, a drive-through service pit, 300-square-metre parts storage area and an internal showroom designed for new trucks. A driver’s waiting room will also be built along with better access for b-double and road trains combinations.  

Deacon says Isuzu has continued to accommodate the dealership while it begins the process of moving facilities. 

“The new facility is going to be great for the team,” Deacon says.  

“We’ve outgrown the current one and we’re really looking forward to the move and hope our customers are too. 

“It is terrific that a company as big and successful as Isuzu is also investing and building a new facility in a town like Ballarat. 

“We’d love to continue this expansion and hopefully employ more people in the near future.”

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