Toyota's executive shuffle last week was part of a broader effort to stay nimble globally as auto volumes and competition increase, while the promotions of key figures in North America, including Bob Carter and Bill Fay, follow long-term succession plans for top posts.
"There's really no shock to the system over this," said Scott Vazin, Toyota's chief communications officer for North America. Rather, the moves are part of an annual revision as the company heads into its new fiscal year, he said. The appointments are effective April 1, and come amid the final phase of Toyota's reorganization and consolidation of its North American headquarters in Plano, Texas.
Carter, 57, known for his active engagement with auto dealers, was named executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America, with responsibility for sales, marketing, distribution and customer service for Toyota and Lexus. Carter, who reports to North American CEO Jim Lentz, was also named executive general manager at the parent company in Japan.
While the job shift frees Carter from some day-to-day engagements, Vazin said, the Toyota executive will remain active with dealers, because he's passionate about supporting retail operations.