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Toyota New Zealand reshapes leadership team to lead sustainable future


With the forthcoming retirement of two senior executives, Toyota New Zealand is taking the opportunity to reshape its Executive Leadership Team with portfolio changes and two promotions to the team.

The changes reflect the transformation of Toyota New Zealand into a mobility company with a greater degree of focus on mobility solutions, new technologies, and customer experience.

After an action packed 40 years with the business, Vice President of New Vehicle Sales, Steve Prangnell will retire from Toyota NZ effective 31st December. He will continue in an advisory role on Franchise Development during 2024.

Also retiring after 35 years of Service is Kerry Walker from the 31st of December.  After returning from the United States nearly 20 years ago initially to be the IT Manager, Kerry was instrumental in building close relationships with our Stores as the Corporate Manager of Franchise.

In 2024, Susanne Hardy and Albertus Mulder will both be promoted to Assistant Vice President.

Susanne’s valuable 24 years span multiple areas of the company including the Customer Dialogue Centre, New Vehicle Operations, Business Technology and Marketing. From January, Susanne will assume responsibility for the newly formed Customer Group including Business Technology, Marketing, Customer, and Sustainability.

Albertus has been with Toyota since 2014 and has added tremendous value in Business and Financial Planning, and Pricing where he has maintained a close relationship with Toyota Motor Corporation. From January 2024, Albertus will be responsible for the Business Optimisation Group which includes his current responsibilities and adds Product Planning and Accessories.

In other Executive portfolio changes:

Andrew Davis, Vice President, will be responsible for the Mobility Group which includes Toyota & Lexus Sales, Logistics, Franchise Development and Motorsport.

Michelle Povey, Assistant Vice President, will be responsible for the Ownership Optimisation Group.  Including the all-important Parts and Service Teams, Michelle will also lead the Toyota Care & Technical Training Teams.

Mark Young, Vice President, will be responsible for the Value Chain Group including Used Vehicles, Thames Vehicle Operations, Human Resources, People Development, Facilities & Legal.

Toyota Motor Corporation appointed Vice President and Chief Coordinating Officer, Tatsuya Ishikawa, will assume a more active role in three important areas of the company: Hydrogen; Advanced Product Strategy; and ‘Project30’, a project incubator designed to test innovative business models and ideas.

In announcing the changes, Toyota NZ Chief Executive Officer Neeraj Lala said the core focus is improving relationships with customers while building a more resilient and sustainable business for the future. 

“The new Groups assigned to each VP have been formed with a clear purpose on how we will serve our customers and grow the business.  The design provides an exciting platform for our business and an opportunity to reimagine our value chain and push towards a more dynamic and engaging culture,” he says.