Lexus GB director Steve Settle has moved to the new role of director of customer services at parent company Toyota GB as part of a wider restructure at the Japanese marque’s UK business.
Settle, who has run Lexus GB for almost three years, will lead a new aftersales division within Toyota’s marketing department from the start of next year. Aftersales has been part of the commercial director’s role at Toyota GB since 2003.
Toyota GB managing director Miguel Fonseca will oversee Lexus until a replacement for Settle is found. Sources are tipping Lexus’ marketing chief Mark Roden as the front-runner for the role.
Settle joined Lexus in February 2005 from Toyota, where he had worked since 1979. His previous job before joining Lexus was director of the customer services group at Toyota Motor Marketing Europe.
Settle appointed Roden – another former Toyota marketer – to the role of general manager of marketing and strategy for Lexus last year (MW July 6, 2006). Fonseca took over at Toyota GB at the same time after long-serving managing director Graham Smith was handed a new dual European role (MW May 11, 2006).
Settle told Marketing Week earlier this year that Lexus was planning to launch a hybrid version of every model in its range within two years (MW April 12). He added that he wanted to establish Lexus as the “default brand for hybrids”.
Toyota GB and Lexus GB are both performing solidly this year. Toyota’s sales were up 1.76% to 113,802 at the end of November, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Lexus’s sales were up 1.45% to 14,302.