Bob Carter has spent the better part of four decades talking nearly nonstop to Toyota and Lexus dealers, visiting their stores, helping them develop their businesses and building lasting friendships with his quick, folksy wit and an amiable smile.
But at the end of this month, Carter, 62 — a fixture at Toyota since the days when the Japanese automaker's pickups were called just, well, Pickup and the man who's headed sales at the automaker since 2017 — will call it a career. He said he plans to spend the next few months doing what he's done for the past several decades: head out to travel — only now he'll be accompanied by his wife, Jane, instead of just his cellphone.
"It's been a hell of a career, but after 41 years, it's time to toss the keys to the next group," Carter told Automotive News last week after Toyota Motor North America announced his retirement June 6. Last year, amid COVID-19 and supply disruptions, Toyota finished as the top-selling automaker in the U.S. for the first time.