EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 20, 2013

Toyota's slice of US market is about right


There’s great competition. Accord is that much newer in the marketplace than we are. And arguably the midsize market has been changed forever by the Hyundai Sonata. I think Sonata really brought aggressive styling into a segment that had not been that aggressively styled. In future generations of Camry, the styling will get more aggressive. What I call emotional quality is improving on each and every one of our vehicles.

The new Corolla has it. I think styling-wise, drivability-wise, interior, infotainment offerings, it’s light years ahead of the car that it replaced. You’ve seen it with Avalon, on the Lexus side and with RAV4. We’re going to continue to have that strong foundation of quality, dependability, reliability, value, and safety, but now we’re able to add this more emotional component. Akio (President Akio Toyoda) wanted more fun-to-drive cars. He’s pushing the styling envelope.

Q: You mentioned you drive the Prius to work every day. What do you drive for fun?

LENTZ:I like to test drive a lot of our vehicles and competitive vehicles. You know, for fun. Obviously LFA is a lot of fun to drive. ISF. FRS I think is a lot of fun to drive. But Prius, my wife’s on her third-generation car, Prius is an interesting conundrum because it’s fun to drive in its own way.

Q: What’s your favorite car of all time?

LENTZ:Probably a ‘73 911. And the coolest car my parents ever had was a ‘63 Buick Riviera. So between the 911 and the Riviera, probably the coolest cars I can remember, kind of vintage type cars.

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