Japanese car giant Toyota is reorganising its European sales and
marketing structure, bringing in European marketers for the first time
to oversee marketing of its key Toyota and Lexus brands.
Two new directors have been appointed, each taking specific
responsibility for one brand.
Previously the brands were managed together.
Jean-Charles Lievens has been appointed director of the Toyota
Lievens joins from Volkswagen France, where he was vice-president.
Javier Contijoch becomes director for the Lexus brand. He also joins
from Volkswagen where he had been sales director in Spain and then
managing director in Argentina.
Previously, Japanese personnel occupied most senior jobs within the
marketing structure at Toyota Europe. Lievens’ and Contijoch’s
appointments are intended to give Toyota a more European character.
While at Volkswagen Lievens was responsible for merging the Volkswagen
Audi Group and Seat France businesses and implementing a major change of
market positioning at Skoda.
Contijoch’s role is not only to increase sales of the luxury Lexus
brand, which has a marginally lower presence in Europe than in the US,
but also to build a dedicated dealer network in Europe. Lexus plans to
launch a small saloon-style car in Europe.
Toyota has been hit by the collapse of the Asian economy and its UK
market share has fallen to 3.14% from 3.41% The company hopes to sell
over 600,000 cars in Europe in 2000, up from an estimated 470,000 this