Toyota marketing boss Laukes to retire

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Longtime Toyota Motor North America executive Ed Laukes will retire Jan. 4 as group vice president of Toyota Division marketing.

A successor in the top marketing role is expected to be named next month, the Japanese automaker said Wednesday.

Laukes, 62, oversees market planning, advertising, sales promotion, incentives, merchandising and motorsports, along with Toyota’s social and digital media, in a role he has held since April 2017. He joined the automaker in 1989, and held management positions with the Toyota and Lexus brands, as well as the company’s field staff. He was previously vice president of integrated marketing operations, and vice president of engagement marketing and guest experience.

His retirement comes as Toyota’s U.S. sales gain momentum and recover from the coronavirus outbreak.

The automaker’s U.S. sales rose 8.8 percent to 205,349 in October — a record for the month — with volume up 7.8 percent at the Toyota division and 15 percent at Lexus.

“Ed’s expertise and deep understanding of marketing helped shape Toyota’s perception among its customers in terms of safety, quality, reliability and fun-to-drive vehicles,” Bob Carter, the automaker’s head of sales, said in a statement. “He’s been instrumental in the success of our motorsports program, including 29 NASCAR championships across all three national touring series since 2007. The brand has truly thrived under Ed’s leadership and we thank him for his 31 years of service with Toyota.”

In addition to his role at Toyota, Laukes is on the board of directors for several internal and external organizations, including: Toyota Racing Development, the Texas Rangers Youth Academy, Joe Gibbs’ Youth For Tomorrow, The Family Health Centers of Georgia, and the Kyle Busch Foundation.

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Saurabh Shukla

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