Effective April 1, Jim Lentz will assume the position of president and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, USA. Currently president and COO, Lentz will become the first American to hold the top slot at Toyota’s North American wing.
Lentz started at Toyota in 1982, working on the west coast as the merchandising manager for the Portland Region. In his most recent capacity as COO of Toyota Motor Sales, he has overseen all of the sales, marketing, and distribution for products from the Toyota, Lexus, and Scion brands in the U.S., as well as all corporate affairs within the states. Lentz also serves as a managing officer in an advisory capacity to TMS' parent company in Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation.
Along with Lentz's new appointment, Toyota has also named Shigeki Terashi as president and COO of Toyota Motor North America. Terashi will be replacing Shigeru Hayakawa as president. Hayakawa took over the position after Jim Press left Toyota in 2007. Press had been the first American to rise to such a high position in Toyota when he took on the role of president of TMNA and first non-Japanese person appointed to the TMC board.
Terashi will also retain his current position of president of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, North America once he takes on the new post. He joined Toyota in 1980 working on the original Camry program, and has overseen the development of models such as the Venza and Sienna.