In his new role as vice president and general manager, Christ will oversee all of Lexus' U.S. automotive operations, including sales, marketing, customer service and dealer operations, reporting to Bill Fay, senior vice president of automotive operations.
Among his big challenges will be the launch of the UX subcompact crossover, arriving later this year. Lexus sees the vehicle as critical to attracting younger buyers to the brand in the face of competition from lower-priced entry-level vehicles from German brands.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me to be a part of the Lexus brand into its fourth decade," Christ said in an e-mailed statement. "All of us at Lexus constantly challenge the way we think and that’s apparent in our new exciting products like the LC 500 sports coupe, LS 500 flagship sedan, and the upcoming ES 350 luxury sedan.
"I’m looking forward to continuing that mindset so we can develop even better luxury vehicles, as well as working with our 240 dealers to create amazing experiences for our guests. Lexus has a bright future and I’m excited to be a part of it."
Bracken, who joined Toyota in 1978, spent much of his career in California and the Western region. He was among the thousands of Toyota employees who relocated from Southern California to Texas as part of a massive headquarters move and reorganization of Toyota Motor North America, announced in 2014.