Lift Truck Industry Veteran Retires From Toyota Material Handling

Sept. 15, 2009
Shankar Basu, chairman and CEO of Toyota Material Handling USA Inc. (THMU), announced his retirement from the company, effective immediately.

Basu had been president and CEO of TMHU for 10 years and a board member and director of Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg. Inc. (TIEM) the Columbus, Ind., lift truck manufacturing plant.

He was also involved in 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,” says John Nofsinger, CEO of 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.”

Basu was a member of the executive committee for the board of directors of the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) as well as a member of the board of advisors for the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA). He also served on the board of advisors for University of California Irvine’s Graduate School of Business.

“Shankar Basu's participation in MHEDA enabled him to bring a broad spectrum of experience and expertise to the executive committee of the ITA," adds Bill Montwieler, executive director of ITA. “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.”

In a congratulatory letter, Ted Toyoda, president of Toyota Industries Corp., comments on Basu’s contribution to the substantial growth of TMHU: “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,” writes Toyoda.

Basu’s successor, Brett Wood, is current president of TMHU and will remain responsible for all operations at TMHU and serve on its board. He is also a member of TIEM’s board of directors.

“Shankar has been a tremendous leader for Toyota and has made a lasting impression on our associates, dealers and the lift truck industry,” says Wood. “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.”