Skip to main content

Native of:  Illinois

Industry: Automotive Manufacturing

Region: Dallas/Fort Worth


Jim Lentz is chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) and an operating officer of parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), located in Japan.

In this role, Lentz oversees all business for Toyota’s North America region, including Manufacturing, Research and Development, Sales, Marketing, Product Support and Corporate Resources.

Lentz’s vision of uniting all of Toyota’s affiliates across the U.S., culminated in moving the company’s regional headquarters to Plano, Texas in 2017.

Most recently, Lentz was president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., (TMS), president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc. (TEMA), senior vice president of Toyota North America (TMA), and served in a global advisory capacity as managing officer for TMC. Prior to that, Lentz served as president and chief operating officer and executive vice president of TMS.

Lentz previously held several executive positions, including Toyota division group vice president and general manager, where he oversaw all sales, logistics and marketing activities for Toyota and Scion regional sales offices and distributors. He also served as group vice president of marketing for the Toyota division and vice president of Scion, responsible for the initial launch of a new line of vehicles designed for the next generation of new-car buyers.

Lentz spent several years in the field as vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles region, and before that, general manager of the San Francisco region. Prior to his role as general manager, he was vice president of marketing services for CAT in Maryland. Lentz has also held several other TMS positions, including field training manager, sales administration manager and truck sales team member.

Lentz joined Toyota in 1982 as the merchandising manager for its Portland region, where he later became the distribution manager and field operations manager.

Lentz serves as secretary on the board of directors for The Global Automakers, chair of the American Automotive Alliance, and is a member of the executive advisory board for Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver (DU), his alma mater. Most recently, he was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Texas Economic Development Corporation by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

He was named “Marketer of the Year” by Advertising Age in 2006, an Automotive News “All Star” in 2007, honored at “Industry Leader of the Year” in 2014 by the Automotive Hall of Fame, and recently was named an All Star by Automotive News in 2017.

Lentz earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and economics and a M.B.A. in Finance from DU.