Mr Iles was a founder and shareholder of Merlo UK. With his retirement at the start of this month, Merlo Group has bought out his shares.
To smooth the transition, Mr Isles will remain a non-executive director as deputy chairman.
Merlo UK’s new general manager, Maurizio Ganio-Mego, said: “John and his team have set a tremendous foundation for the Merlo product in the UK. Without their experience and local knowledge, it would have been much more difficult to successfully penetrate the market here. John is, quite literally an icon of the rough terrain truck market in the UK and we are delighted to retain his experience.
“The Merlo Group plans considerable expansion of its UK business and this move opens the possibility for more investment in order to achieve the longer-term aim of the group.”