Cooper to lead new Isuzu Australia innovation unit

Move follows parent company’s strategic alliances with Volvo and Honda

Cooper to lead new Isuzu Australia innovation unit
Grant Cooper


Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) has unveiled an ‘Innovation’ business unit, citing the need to respond to a market marked by technological disruption, upheaval and change.

The new business unit will be responsible for IAL’s transformation in the face of the four fundamental shifts disrupting the transport sector; Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric trucks (CASE).

The announcement comes almost two months after Isuzu Motors Limited (IML Japan) revealed new global initiatives with the establishment of a strategic alliance with Volvo Group  and a technology sharing arrangement with Honda R&D to jointly undertake research on heavy trucks using Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) technology.

IAL’s Australian Innovation business unit will be led by Grant Cooper, who was recently appointed head of innovation.

Now with three years at IAL, Cooper has a background in strategy consulting working with a range of organisations to solve complex problems and deliver growth through customer-led innovation.

He brings "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".

Read about the Isuzu-Honda link for fuel cell electric propulsion, here

IAL director and chief operating officer Andrew Harbison describes the move 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," Harbison says.

"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.

Cooper expands on ongoing innovation programs 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," he says.

"A seamless user experience is key to achieving this.

"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.

"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."


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