IRVINE, Calif., (Sept. 15, 2009)—Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (THMU), the number one selling lift truck supplier in the United States, today announced the retirement of its Chairman and CEO Shankar Basu, effective immediately.
"Shankar has been a tremendous leader for Toyota and has made a lasting impression on our associates, dealers and the lift truck industry," stated Brett Wood, president of TMHU.
"I’m thankful to have worked by his side and learned from him during my 20-year tenure at Toyota. I will continue to advance Toyota’s leadership position with many of the strategies he introduced."
A Decade of Growth and Leadership
During his decade-long tenure as president and CEO of TMHU, Basu was influential in catapulting the company to its number one lift truck supplier ranking. When Basu joined Toyota, the company had less than two percent market share. Today, the company is ranked the top lift truck supplier, an achievement held for seven consecutive years.
Ted Toyoda, president of Toyota Industries Corporation, commented on Basu’s contribution to TMHU’s growth in a congratulatory letter. "As a direct result of your efforts, Toyota has surpassed all of its competitors to capture the number one market share position in the U.S. since 2002," stated Toyoda.
Basu also served on the TMHU board and as a director of Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg., Inc. (TIEM), the Columbus, Ind., Toyota lift truck manufacturing plant. He also dedicated his time and expertise to numerous industry associations, including the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) Roundtable of Industry Leaders.
"I have had the honor and privilege of knowing and working with Shankar Basu for more than 30 years, most recently in his leadership capacity on the MHIA Roundtable of Industry Leaders," stated John Nofsinger, CEO of the MHIA. "Roundtable Leaders are chosen by their peers as having demonstrated uncommon commitment to and support of the industry’s vision and mission. Shankar’s sage advice and counsel have made a major and lasting impact on the health of both MHIA and the industry as a whole."
"Shankar Basu's participation in the Material Handling Equipment Dealers Association enabled him to bring a broad spectrum of experience and expertise to the Executive Committee of the Industrial Truck Association (ITA)," shared Bill Montwieler, executive director of the Industrial Truck Association. "Shankar played a pivotal role in ITA's efforts to work with OSHA on reducing the number of accidents involving forklifts, which has resulted in saving the lives of operators each year. He also was willing to place Toyota resources at the call of the industry and led the association in providing a ’look before you leap’ attitude, which helped make sure the members always received a full return on the investment of member company resources," he added.
Basu has been a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of the ITA. He also was a member of the board of advisors of the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) as well as a member of the board of advisors for University of California Irvine’s Graduate School of Business.
Brett Wood, 20-Year Industry Veteran to Continue Leading the Company
Basu announced his successor, Brett Wood, who has served as president of TMHU since 2008. Wood will remain responsible for all operations at TMHU and serves on its board as well as TIEM’s Board of Directors. He formerly served as the company’s vice president of marketing, product and strategic planning and training operations and previously oversaw dealer development. Wood has been influential in identifying the trends and requirements of the material handling industry and developing Toyota products and corporate strategies that meet U.S. lift truck users’ needs.
About Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc.
Celebrating more than 40 years of established operations in the United States, Irvine, Calif.-based TMHU has been the No. 1 selling lift truck supplier in the U.S. since 2002 and currently offers a full line of high-quality lift trucks sold under the Toyota brand. TMHU, as the sole United States distributor for Aichi, now offers a line-up of aerial work lifts, including scissor lifts, crawler and wheeled boom lifts designed specifically to meet a wide range of indoor and outdoor needs.
Built on a reputation of excellence, Toyota remains popular due to its quality, durability and reliability. Quality is the hallmark of Toyota’s world-renowned Toyota Production System practiced at all Toyota manufacturing facilities, including Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM). Most of the Toyota lift trucks sold in the United States are manufactured at TIEM, a zero-landfill facility, in Columbus, Ind.
TIEM, and all Toyota manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Canada, comply with the ISO 14001 standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and have been honored for their environmental management systems and dedication to continuous improvement.
Toyota’s commitment to excellence in customer service extends nationwide. Sixty-eight authorized Toyota Industrial Equipment dealers, with a total of 188 dealership locations throughout the United States, offer comprehensive customer service support, including one-stop shopping for both new and Certified Used lift trucks, parts and service, fleet servicing, and financing. For more information on TMHU, please visit www.toyotaforklift.com or call 1-800-226-0009.
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