Wahl will oversee Toyota's marketing

Deborah Wahl's mission is to strengthen Toyota Division's advertising and Internet marketing to match product growth.

Wahl, 38, will start Monday, Nov. 19, as corporate marketing communications manager, a new position. She will report to Steve Sturm, Toyota's vice president of marketing.

"We're in the midst of a growth plan for Toyota," Sturm said. "We assessed the need for someone to oversee advertising products to consumers and dealers and the Internet strategy."

Wahl, who had been Lincoln Mercury Division's marketing chief since 1999, left the company Oct. 25. She was not available for comment.

In her new position, Wahl will manage 19 staff members. She will oversee national, Internet and diversity marketing and dealer associations.

She also will work with Toyota's ad agencies: Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif.; Conill Advertising in New York, which handles Hispanic advertising; and, as of Nov. 8, Toyota's first black ad agency, Burrell Communications Group in Chicago.

Sturm would not disclose how many people he considered for the job but said he had been talking to Wahl "the last several months."

As marketing communications manager at Lincoln Mercury, Wahl directed the Lincoln and Mercury brands' national advertising, cross-brand communication and events marketing.

Lincoln Mercury expects to name a replacement for Wahl as early as this week, said spokeswoman Nancy Carollo.

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