By on March 13, 2012

Toyota COO Jim Lentz will be getting a new role – CEO of Toyota Motor Sales North America. The announcement was buried in a press release announcing other management changes at Toyota’s stateside operations.

Lentz is the first American to occupy this post, a significant development that was given scant mention the in the press release. The focus appeared to be the appointment of Shigeki Terashi as President and COO of Toyota Motor North America, the holding company that oversees Toyota’s American operations. Lentz became known for his public defenses of Toyota during their unintended acceleration scandal in 2009 and 2010.

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