Toyota promotes several U.S. executives as it increases the responsibility of its North American leadership within the parent company, effective April 1.

James Lentz, president and CEO-Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., is named CEO of Toyota's North America Region. He also becomes a senior managing officer of the Japanese parent company and president and CEO-Toyota Motor America.

Lentz will oversee all Toyota affiliates in North America, including Canadian manufacturing and sales units, and chair Toyota's North American Executive Committee.

“Integrating Toyota’s North America affiliates under a more unified and streamlined management structure will significantly enhance local responsibility over operations, clarify decision-making and strengthen our ‘customer-first’ focus," Lentz says in a statement.

Kazuo Ohara, current executive vice president-Lexus International, replaces Lentz and will report to him. Mark Templin, Lexus U.S. sales chief, will replace Ohara as EVP-Lexus International.

Osamu Nagata also will report to Lentz in his new role as CEO and president-Toyota Motor Engineering & Mfg. North America (TEMA). Nagata currently is deputy chief officer of the Toyota’s External Affairs group and a managing officer of TMC.

Current Executive Vice President-TEMA, Steve St. Angelo, will oversee manufacturing as CEO of the Latin America and Caribbean Region and will be based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Yoshi Inaba's title is elevated from chairman to executive chairman of TMSUSA.

Bob Carter, senior vice president-automotive operations for TMSUSA, adds responsibility for Lexus Div. sales. However, Jeffrey Bracken replaces Templin as group vice president and general manager-U.S. Lexus Div. He currently is vice president-sales for the Toyota Div.

Joining Toyota’s board of directors is Mark Hogan, current president of Dewey Investments, but best known for his leadership roles with General Motors and Magna International.

Hogan becomes the first American to be named an outside board member at the Japanese auto maker, and joins two other newly appointed outside board members.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com