Toyota has appointed Lexus Europe’s general manager for marketing Paul van der Burgh as its new European marketing director. Van der Burgh replaces Jon Williams, who joined Toyota GB as commercial director earlier this year (MW January 18).
Van der Burgh, who has been at Lexus for three years, will report to Toyota Motor Marketing Europe senior vice-president for sales and marketing Andrea Formica in his new role. He will be responsible for promoting the Toyota brand across 48 European countries.
Industry sources claim that Van der Burgh went up against Williams for the commercial director’s role at Toyota GB after Paul Philpott left the company to join Kia UK as managing director.
Williams emerged as the frontrunner to replace Philpott in January, as exclusively revealed by Marketing Week, and Toyota confirmed he had been appointed last month. Although Williams was Toyota’s European marketing director, he did not have overall responsibility for marketing because he reported to Formica.
The UK is one of Toyota’s leading markets and sales have doubled from 60,000 to 120,000 in the past ten years. The commercial director’s role is the top marketing job at the company and marketing director Mark Hall reports to Williams.
Williams was Toyota’s European marketing director for four-and-a-half years and prior to joining the company worked at Ford for almost 13 years, initially in sales in the UK before moving to the US.
Philpott resigned from Toyota GB in January, as first revealed on marketingweek.co.uk, and took over at Kia at the start of February.