Karl Schlicht, who is a former head at Lexus Europe, will return to the European region from Japan in order to oversee the product planning, sales, marketing and aftersales of Toyota and Lexus beginning April 1. Currently, the duties are handled by Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy, who is still the vehicle manufacturer's top man and the chief quality officer in the European region.
Schlicht has previously held top positions at Toyota Great Britain and Toyota Canada before he became vice president of Lexus Europe. From 2005 to 2009, he was with Toyota Europe, prior to his assignment in Japan. In his new position, he will be tasked to turn around the Toyota brand's declining sales in Europe, which is down 8% in 2011 to 527,206 units, according to the data from industry association ACEA.
The sales of Toyota in the European region after two months were down 11%. Meanwhile, Lexus more than doubled its sales in Europe last year to 27,016 units, thanks to the introduction of the CT entry-premium vehicle. Lexus's sales are up 117% to 4,893 units through February.
Last year, Toyota-Lexus sales in Europe increased by 2% to 822,386 units. Moreover, Toyota Europe will have Takeshi Numa as the new executive vice president of manufacturing effective April 1. He will replace Hiroyuki Ochiai, who will go back to the Toyota headquarters in Japan.
Currently, Numa is serving as executive general manager at the Tahara facility of Toyota in Japan. Numa was part of Toyota Europe from 2004 to 2007, serving as vice president of operations management development. This division is centered on boosting the implementation of the Toyota Production System in the automaker's European facilities. In addition, Numa has had management positions in the automaker's Kentucky factory in the United States and in three of its facilities in Japan.