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Stepping up: Dimitri Andreatidis is now head of Hino’s newly created ‘customer and brand’ department while Brian Wright (lower) steps up as national sales manager.

HINO Motor Sales Australia has merged its customer experience and marketing departments to create a ‘customer and brand’ unit, with national marketing manager Dimitri Andreatidis stepping up as head of the new branch.

The customer and brand department remains part of the ‘brand and franchise’ division, with Mr Andreatidis reporting to general manager for brand and franchise development Bill Gillespie.

The company has also promoted national dealer sales manager Brian Wright as national sales manager, which sees him responsible for both the dealer sales and national fleet teams.

Hino is also preparing to expand its product team with a newly created position of applications engineer.

Mr Gillespie described the new customer and brand department, and the appointment of Mr Andreatidis as overseer, as a “vital change for Hino as we seek to combine our customer experience direction with greater synergy between our overall sales, customer and marketing areas”.

As GoAuto has reported, Mr Andreatidis was appointed national marketing manager for Hino in September last year after spending the previous four years as head of marketing for PSA Group’s Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, which were the responsibility of Sime Darby Motor Group before distribution rights shifted to Inchcape Australasia.

His move to Toyota’s Sydney-based truck division marked a return for him to the Japanese auto giant, having spent a decade – from 2003 to 2013 – with Toyota Australia in various marketing and product planning roles including national marketing manager for all passenger vehicles, national marketing manager for CBU (completely built up) passenger cars and marketing manager for four-wheel-drive and commercial vehicles.

Brian Wright

He also served as national launch manager for Toyota 4WD and commercial vehicles, marketing and product planner for the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) sports division, and product specialist for Daihatsu and locally manufactured Toyota vehicles.

Mr Wright is also well known in the Australian automotive industry. Prior to joining Hino in September 2016, he spent a year as a consultant with Deloitte Motor Industry Services after serving for almost seven years with Volvo Car Australia, where he held several positions including sales director, network development manager, regional business manager (NSW) and used car manager.

Earlier in his career, Mr Wright spent five years as a regional sales manager for DaimlerChrysler Australia/Pacific, based in Sydney, and nine years in senior roles with Scuderia Veloce Motors, also in Sydney.

In the new position, Mr Wright is charged with continuing Hino’s current sales growth, which at the halfway point of the year sees it charging ahead with 2660 new registrations from January to June, up 20.2 per cent on the same period in 2017.

Last year, Hino racked up 4820 sales over the full 12 months, up 9.4 per cent on 2016. This was enough to place second in the market behind long-time market leader Isuzu.

Commenting on the Mr Wright’s step up in the company, Mr Gillespie said: “The sales area has grown significantly in 2018 and we aim to continue that growth in both retail sales and in the highly competitive area of fleet sales in 2018 and beyond.”

Hino is yet to announce who will be taking on the newly created role of applications engineer, which Mr Gillespie said would “ensure further support to our dealer network and ensure that Hino can respond to the contemporary customers’ expectations on product development”.

By Terry Martin