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Paul Carroll to head Lexus NZ

by December 15, 2016 General

Paul Carroll, former Executive Director of Toyota New Zealand, has been appointed as the Senior General Manager of Lexus New Zealand to head the brand here.

Mr Carroll who has spent the last five years as the Vice President of Lexus Asia Pacific, based in Singapore, is returning home to take up the position from January 1.

He will be based in Auckland and take up the reins on the back of record sales based on its range of hybrid and conventional engined SUVs.

In Asia he has been responsible for developing the brand from Korea all the way to India, where Lexus is about to be launched. Sales in the region reached 30,000 in 2015.

“I think Lexus has strong opportunities in New Zealand,” said Mr Carroll. “There is worldwide recognition of our brand shift from conservative and reliable to imaginative, exciting design-led luxury vehicles and SUVs.”

“We will be launching the LC 500 coupe in 2017 with a choice of V8 and hybrid power trains and the latest LS sedan will be a technological masterpiece.”

Mr Carroll joined Toyota New Zealand in 1979 as a product engineer at a time when the company still had local assembly operations at Christchurch and Thames.

He had stints at the company’s National Customer Centre responsible for parts, service and training and then as the General Manager of Sales and Dealer Operations and then After-Sales and Customer Care when he became an Executive Director.

Mr Carroll transferred to Singapore in 2011, where he has been involved in regional marketing and local market co-ordination for product, training and after sales development.

During that time, Lexus sales have doubled in Asia despite import duty costs that favour local completely knocked down production’ by its German rivals, as Lexus only manufactures in Japan and the United States.

Mr Carroll said the challenge in New Zealand was to get luxury car buyers to take a Lexus test-drive ahead of, or as a benchmark comparison to, its rivals.

“Then they will start to really question whether they should be considering Lexus ahead of the traditional, old-school brands.”