TOYOTA ANNOUNCES TRD, TMS MOTORSPORTS MANAGEMENT CHANGES
Smooth Transition Expected With New Titles and Expanded Roles
TORRANCE, Calif. (June 27, 2008) -- Toyota announced today that effective July 1, Lee White will become president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) and that motorsports activities at Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., will be consolidated under Ed Laukes, TMS corporate manager of motorsports marketing.
White and Laukes will replace Jim Aust, who previously announced his plans to retire on June 30, from his position as vice president of motorsports at TMS and president at TRD.
"As the Toyota racing program continues to grow and we enhance our motorsports marketing activities, these changes will allow Lee and Ed to focus on their key areas of responsibility, both on and off the track," said Dave Illingworth, TMS senior vice president, chief planning and administrative officer.
White, who will report to Illingworth, will be responsible for all TRD activities in the U.S., including engine development, manufacturing, chassis design/development, team/manufacturer relationships, manufacturer/sanctioning body relations and engineering support for Toyota teams participating in NASCAR, USAC, NHRA, Grand-Am and Off-Road competition.
Highlights of his more than 10-year TRD career include the 2000 CART driver's and manufacturer's championships, the 2003 IRL series driver's and manufacturer's titles, Gil de Ferran's 2003 Indianapolis 500 victory and the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver's and manufacturer's championships. He has been instrumental in the push for new racing endeavors, from joining NASCAR in 2000 (Dash Series), to entering the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2004 and ultimately the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series in 2007.
J. David Wilson, formerly the group vice president, finance, operations and planning at TRD, will be promoted to senior vice president, reporting to White. He has held various engineering and management roles since joining TRD in 1989.
Laukes has served as corporate manager of motorsports marketing since last year and will now be responsible for all TMS motorsports activities, including public relations and marketing operations, which encompass strategy, research, sponsorship, advertising and merchandising activation. He will continue to report to Randy Pflughaupt, TMS group vice president, marketing.
Since joining Toyota in 1989, Laukes has held various management positions in both the Lexus and Toyota divisions, most recently as general manager for the Toyota New York Region. Reporting to Laukes will be Les Unger, national motorsports marketing manager; Don Brown, national motorsports operations manager; and Scot Smith, motorsports marketing manager.