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Chris Hayes to lead Lexus UK as new director

Chris Hayes, Lexus UK director

Chris Hayes will take over as director of Lexus in the UK on January 1, following the retirement of Ewan Sheppard.

Hayes is currently director – people and planning at Lexus UK.

He joined Toyota GB in 2003 before taking an overseas assignment as a marketing manager at Toyota Motor Sales USA, in California.

Returning to the UK in 2009, Hayes led Toyota GB’s Sales Planning and Vehicle Marketing teams before promotion to marketing director in 2013.

In 2015, he transferred to Toyota Motor Europe in Brussels, taking on responsibility for European pricing strategy and operations, returning the UK three years later for his most recent directorship.

He said: “I am delighted to be leading the Lexus UK team during such a transformative time for the industry and our brand. Everything we do at Lexus is driven by a relentless focus on delivering an amazing and uniquely personalised, customer experience. 

“With our leading range of hybrid, plug-In and battery electric technologies, we offer today’s consumers a sustainable and genuinely flexible powertrain choice based on their real-world personal mobility and driving needs. I am looking forward to starting a new and exciting era for Lexus as we accelerate towards our ambition of becoming a 100 per cent electric brand in the UK by 2030.”

Hayes’ appointment comes as Lexus confirms it will only sell battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in Europe by 2030.

Joining the recently launched UX 300e by 2030 will be a larger electric SUV, saloon and sports car.

Shepherd’s retirement brings to a close his 22-year career with Toyota, including five years as director of Lexus UK.

He said: “It has been a privilege to hold a number of leadership roles during my time with the company. It is a dynamic organisation with a great team of energetic, fully engaged people and a great place to work.

“Lexus is in a good place – and primed for further growth in the years ahead.  I wish Chris Hayes the best of luck in his new role and have every confidence that he will take the brand on to greater success.”

During his tenure, Lexus UK has grown all areas of its business to record levels, while achieving the number one position in the Auto Express Driver Power Survey for customer experience in four of Hayes’ five years at the helm.

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