By on December 11, 2020

Materazzo to group VP marketing Lisa Materazzo has been appointed group vice president, Toyota Marketing, replacing Ed Laukes, who is retiring after 32 years with the automaker. Materazzo, who currently serves as vice president of Lexus marketing, will run the entire gamut of Toyota division market planning, advertising, merchandising, sales promotions, incentives, NASCAR and motorsports, and all social and digital media. According to Statista, in 2019 Toyota spent $1.51 billion on advertising alone, behind General Motors and Ford.

Unlike some CMOs at other automakers, Materazzo has put in her time in the industry with Toyota. Having joined Toyota in 1998, she has held a variety of marketing-related roles including vice president, vehicle marketing and communications, and corporate manager, media strategy and digital engagement.

 

Also effective Jan. 4, Vinay Shahani will replace Materazzo at Lexus as vice president – Lexus marketing.  Shahani is currently vice president of Toyota integrated marketing operations, a role which he has held since June 2017. In his place, Tony Mueller is promoted to vice president – integrated marketing operations, Toyota marketing, Cynthia Tenhouse ascends to vice president – guest experience, Lexus Division, and Mike Tripp has been appointed vice president – vehicle marketing and communications, Toyota marketing.

Shahani previously, served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Volkswagen of America, where he led and directed all aspects of marketing for the Volkswagen brand in the United States. Prior to Volkswagen, Shahani worked for Nissan North America for 10 years in various executive leadership roles across sales, marketing, and manufacturing, most recently as the director of marketing for the Nissan brand.

Materazzo became vice president of marketing for Lexus in January 2019. Prior to that, she served as vice president, vehicle marketing and communications for Toyota North America, and corporate manager, media strategy and digital engagement.

From 2008-2014, Materazzo took a hiatus from Toyota, spending a year at AOL, as director of automotive category marketing. Prior to AOL, she was at Ridemakerz LLC as vice president of marketing and business development, and Brand Sense Partners, as senior director of business development.

Early on, Materazzo spent 10 years at Toyota, ascending from senior product planner, to truck product planning manager, to national manager of long-range planning and to national marketing and communications manager of Scion. With Scion, Materazzi devised the division’s youth marketing strategy and oversaw the execution of print, TV, radio and digital advertising as well as engagement marketing and media planning. Materazzo drove the Scion business, which led to the early success of Toyota’s youth-focused brand.

[Images: Toyota, © 2020 J. Sakurai, TTAC]

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17 Comments on “Materazzo appointed group vice president, Toyota Marketing...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Toyota’s youth-focused brand”

    Scion (2004 – 2016, RIP), the brand ostensibly marketed to young people, but in fact bought by middle-aged (like me in 2005) or older people, who wanted a no-frills economical ride. My 05 xB1 was excellent.

    Then, probably through the input of focus groups, Scion ruined the xB2 to the point where it departed from that vehicle’s original mission. As a result of its missteps, Scion probably had very few return buyers because its portfolio became uninspiring and boring after one generation.

    • 0 avatar
      Cicero

      I saw that too. Given that Scion became a marketing failure, I wouldn’t think that a stint as its “national marketing and communications manager” would be much of a resume enhancer.

      But nobody asked me.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        It was a marketing failure for its target market, but had enough sales to justify the effort for over a decade. As SCE pointed out, a different demographic bought them, one with more money than the target demographic that’s forced to dabble in the used vehicle market.

        Where Scion went wrong was leaving the bare bones, easy to get in and out of, square car market. Like Cadillac’s original market, there are new old people with money joining that demographic every year – they die off, but are replaced by the formerly youthful demographic getting older. Not all of them wanted to drive Cadillacs anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Noble713

          “leaving the bare bones, easy to get in and out of, square car market. Like Cadillac’s original market, there are new old people with money joining that demographic every year”

          This is why Toyota not selling the Crown in the States blows my mind. It’s the PERFECT aging gentleman’s car, and would demolish Buick/Lincoln if marketed correctly. Toyota reliability without the polarizing aggressive styling and luxury interior of a Lexus.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Is she married?

  • avatar
    Garrett

    No amount of market can change my perception of Toyotas:

    1) Driven by people that don’t know how to accelerate and get on the freeway properly, before they hog the left lane and slow traffic instead of staying in the right lane.

    2) Driven by people that view driving as a chore, their vehicle as an appliance, and exercise a standard of care the corresponds to those beliefs. See also: Camry dent, which is when the rear corner of the bumper is smashed in.

    3) The worst dealers, who insist that adding GPS trackers or pin striping to new vehicles is somehow acceptable, and that you should be happy to pay for that privilege.

  • avatar
    gasser

    +1.
    Please add to the above list #4. On any good deal that the Toyota.com web site offers, the dealer has a $799 “alarm” already added that “cannot be removed”.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Can she stop turning Lexus into the car you look at before buying a Genesis?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      She’s in charge of marketing – she sells the sizzle. It’s the butcher who carves the cut of steak. He’s in the back, and doesn’t deal with the customer or care what the customer wants. He just cuts them as he pleases, weighs them, and wraps them in plastic – take ’em or leave ’em. There’s only so much she can do to sell them.

    • 0 avatar
      docsoloman

      For most of those who have only read about the Genesis and have never driven one, they do not how impressive they are. I have driven the BMW 750, MB 500, and Genesis G90 on extended drives, and I would easily put the G90 as at least equal to those 2 models, if not better. Very, very comfortable and loaded luxury car. No, I am not a salesman.

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