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Lotter rises to chairman, CEO of Hino in Australia

Main man: Mr Lotter has spent the past eight years as chief operating officer of Hino Motor Sales Australia, picking up presidency of the company along the way. He now becomes chairman and CEO.

Veteran industry executive Steve Lotter takes reins of Toyota truck division Hino

23 Jan 2014

LONG-SERVING Australian motor industry executive Steve Lotter has been appointed chairman and CEO of Hino Motor Sales Australia (HMSA), effective February 1.

Mr Lotter has held a vast range of senior management roles, mainly at Hino and Toyota, over almost four decades, most recently serving as president and chief operating officer for HMSA.

He also had a brief stint as chief operating officer for Kia Motors Australia when the South Korean brand became a factory distribution operation early in 2006, while at Toyota he moved through a wide variety of positions spanning national fleet sales, national and regional sales operations, sales and marketing, network development and customer services.

He began his career with commercial vehicle distributor Thiess Toyota as a marketing services analyst, rising to marketing services manager and then fulfilling a variety of of roles – including advertising and PR manager – over more than a decade before Thiess Toyota amalgamated with AMI Toyota to become Toyota Motor Corporation Australia in 1988.

He has served as COO of HMSA since August 2006. He initially worked alongside then-president and CEO Junsuke Ando in running the day-to-day operations of Hino in Australia, with the counsel of former Toyota Australia executive chairman John Conomos, who was appointed non-executive chairman of HMSA at the same time.

In July 2009, Mr Lotter was named president, retaining his COO duties and becoming the first local executive to be made president of any of Hino’s global affiliate companies.

Mr Conomos retired from the role as chairman, having completed his three-year contract with HMSA, while Kenichi Sekine – a former president of Hino Diesel Trucks in Canada – took up the role of chairman and CEO as Mr Ando returned to Japan.

Mr Lotter now replaces Mr Sekine, who is returning to Hino headquarters in Japan.

“Steve and I have worked closely together, and I am very glad that his efforts have been recognised by this appointment,” Mr Sekine said.

“The past four-and-a-half years have been both challenging and exciting. I would like to thank everyone at Hino Australia and the Hino dealer network for their strong support.”

The general manager of overseas planning of Hino Motors in Japan, Shunichi (Sean) Takahashi, is relocating to Australia to take up the role of president and COO vacated by Mr Lotter.

Mr Takahashi also has more than 30 years’ experience with Hino and Toyota, having previously held positions such as director of Toyota Brazil and Toyota Argentina.

“Hino is a brand Australians know and trust and I look forward to working with Steve, the Hino Australia team and the entire dealer network around the country,” Mr Takahashi said.

“Australia is one of the toughest commercial vehicle markets in the world and it’s clear that Australians accept nothing but the very best, so I’m relishing the opportunity to take Hino to new heights in the coming year.”

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