"Ted understands the North American operation and he understands Toyota's operations in Japan, so the company will be in good hands. And the rest of the team is staying on as well."
A 2017 Automotive News All-Star, Lentz oversaw the expansion of Toyota's North American sales and operations over his career and successfully guided the company after its unintended-acceleration crisis and through a successful corporate relocation.
For Toyota dealers, Lentz has been both a known commodity and a champion of their cause, said Dan Abel, head of the Toyota National Dealers Advisory Council and dealer principal of Warrenton Toyota in suburban Washington.
"Jim's a true field guy, a dealer guy," Abel said last week. "He came up through the ranks that way. He's been a true asset to the Toyota and Lexus dealer body, and to TMNA. He's touched a lot of dealers over the years. But Jim's true core is people — especially the dealers and associates of Toyota."
With his strong background in the field, Lentz took special pride in the results of the regular National Automobile Dealers Association dealership sentiment surveys that usually have had Toyota and Lexus jostling for the top spot.