By on May 25, 2017

Vinay Shahani Toyota VP Marketing - Image: Toyota

Vinay Shahani, a former decade-long Nissan employee, has just been poached from Volkswagen of America by Toyota.

Shahani was Volkswagen’s U.S. vice president in charge of marketing, responsible for cementing a cohesive product message after the eruption of the now infamous diesel emissions scandal that broke in September 2015.

“Things are definitely difficult for the Volkswagen brand,” Shahani told the Automotive News New York Marketing Seminar one year after Volkswagen’s wrongdoing was made public.

Shahani’s perseverance through said difficulty obviously drew the attention of Toyota Motor North America, particularly since Shahani’s resume proves he’s no mere ad man.

Vinay Shahani’s father was an engineer at Ford Motor Company, and Vinay followed that path by graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Shahani’s education continued with an MBA from Stanford. Shahani then worked at Nissan from 2004 until 2013, when he joined Volkswagen. It was an early ’80s Scirocco that had originally infused Shahani with Volkswagen appreciation.

But after coordinating the successful launch of the Mk7 Golf, Shahani was then tasked with steering Volkswagen’s U.S. marketing department through turbulent times. Forget new product launches: “We had a lot of work to do to move products that were already for sale,” Shahani said last fall.

Toyota, clearly satisfied with Shahani’s broad range of experience, says the new vice president for integrated marketing operations will be responsible for media strategy, digital and social media, vehicle incentive strategy, motorsports, engagement marketing, auto shows, and other consumer events.

“Vinay brings fresh perspective to Toyota that is complemented with his marketing background and cross-functional experience in the automotive industry,” Shahani’s new boss, Ed Laukes, said Wednesday in a Toyota release.

Surely Toyota isn’t a fan of every line on the resume. The recent “Luv Bug” ad for the upcoming Atlas is a comedy of errors.

But perhaps it’s time we forgive the chronological lapse. Shahani has moved on. So can TTAC. After all, use Simon & Garfunkel in the background and just about any ad becomes great.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net and a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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3 Comments on “Here’s Some Evidence At Least One Rival Automaker Approved Of Volkswagen USA’s Post-Emissions Scandal Handling...”


  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    Interesting commercial. I like it better than the ‘Luv Bug’ ad. That trip is the kind of thing that 7 seaters (SUVs or minivans) are best at.

    But the cover of that song by Yes is better. Probably not appropriate for this commercial though.

  • avatar
    KevinC

    VWoA made a bold move by making the b2b warranty 6 yrs & 72k miles on the Atlas. I’m wondering if this will be true across the entire product line in NA for 2018? The 2018 ordering guide should be out any day, perhaps we’ll find out then. With all the ill will towards VW due to the TDI scandal, and with their ongoing reputation for sketchy reliability, doubling the current warranty would seem to be a very smart move. Seems odd that they would only do it for a single (new) model. Interested to see how this plays out.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    So he’ll be looking for a house in Plano soon? The first groups of employees started moving into the new HQ last week

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