Gulf States Toyota names former Ford manager as president
Marty Collins, pictured, Gulf States Toyota's new president, replaces Toby Hynes, who retired in June 2011.
Gulf States Toyota named Marty Collins its president today, replacing Toby Hynes, who retired in June 2011.
Collins most recently was general sales manager for Ford Motor Co.'s Ford and Lincoln brands.
Dan Friedkin, CEO of Gulf States Toyota, said Collins' "extensive marketing background, field assignments and dealer support efforts" make him an ideal fit for the company's 150-plus dealer network.
About a year ago, Ford sued Collins, who left the company in 2006 after 21 years and returned in 2011, to block his plans to join Gulf States Toyota or its parent company, Friedkin Group.
Ford, citing a violation of a noncompete agreement, said in the suit that Collins possessed confidential company information from his five-month stint as general sales manager for Ford and Lincoln.
In response, Gulf States Toyota said at the time that it intended to hire Collins anyway and would "take as long as it takes" to do so, court documents showed.
Collins' appointment marks the third time in recent history that Gulf States Toyota has tapped Ford's management ranks for a top leadership role.
In 1999, Hynes replaced Earl Hesterberg as president of Gulf States Toyota. Before that, Hynes worked at Ford for 30 years in a variety of sales, marketing and financial positions. Hesterberg, now CEO of Group 1 Automotive Inc., is also a former senior sales and marketing executive at Ford.
Collins began his career with Ford in 1985 and spent 22 years in a variety of sales, marketing and executive positions. He also was regional vice president for Group 1 Automotive.
Gulf States Toyota, of Houston, is an independent distributor of Toyota and Scion vehicles. It serves 154 dealers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. The five states account for more than 12 percent of Toyota Motor Corp. sales in the United States.
Gulf States is one of only two independent distributors of Toyota vehicles in the United States. The other is Southeast Toyota Distributors, a unit of JM Family Enterprises Inc. of Deerfield Beach, Fla.
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