Auto industry first black South African CEO celebrated

Auto industry first black South African CEO celebrated

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa [NAAMSA] announced that it was very pleased that the industry was pressing ahead with its commitment towards the transformation agenda of the automotive sector in the country. This affirmation came after Billy Tom was appointed as the CEO and Managing Director of Isuzu Motors South Africa from 01 June 2020. “In line with one of our strategic objectives, transformation for the automotive sector is an imperative to the success and the sustainability of the industry”, said Michael Mabasa, NAAMSA CEO.

Mabasa said that the transformation ambition is to grow the South African automotive industry through the acceleration of employment of black South Africans, particularly in senior management levels, upskilling of black employees, empowerment of dealerships and authorised repair facilities, and substantially increasing the contribution of black-owned automotive component manufacturers within the automotive supply chain. “Our commitment to transformation is solid and we are very pleased that Isuzu has taken a lead in appointing a South African as its CEO and MD. The Isuzu Board has reaffirmed our collective commitment to a substantive and meaningful transformative agenda that will change the industry forever, said Mabasa.

He said Naamsa was very pleased with Mr. Tom’s appointment at Isuzu because he will carry overall responsibility for the company’s manufacturing, distribution and sales operations in South Africa as well as its exports into Sub-Saharan Africa markets. Isuzu Motors South Africa is a whollyowned subsidiary of internationally based Isuzu Motors Limited with its head office and assembly plants located in Port Elizabeth and its sales and marketing office in Johannesburg. The company assembles Isuzu bakkies and trucks which are sold through its network of 79 dealers in South Africa and 29 in key Sub-Saharan Africa markets.

Mr. Tom will serve on the Naamsa CEO Council effective immediately and participate as a Board Member of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers [AAAM]. He has over 22 years’ experience in the automotive, banking and FMCG sectors. He started his career at Distell and then worked at SABMiller, Standard Bank, General Motors and finally at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa/Abi, where he spent his last 12 years. His most recent role there was as General Manager: Alternative Revenue Streams, where he was responsible for soft drinks exports into Africa, Asia, and Australasia. In addition to this he looked after Venturing and Emerging brands, which was focused on introducing new brands into the market, together with a coffee business. Prior to this he was General Manager for the Inland Region, which had the biggest geography, spanning across 46% of the company’s territory in South Africa. Between 2007 and 2016 he filled various Commercial roles ranging from Area Manager to District Manager and Acting General Manager. Prior to this at General Motors he was involved in setting up the premium vehicle channel, which led to the launch of the Cadillac and HUMMER brands and dealerships in South Africa. Billy has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree [Rhodes University] and a Master of Business Leadership Degree [UNISA].