Despite a long list of challenges facing the auto industry in 2022 and continuing into 2023, Toyota Motor North America is rising above.
The division’s fourth-quarter sales were up 41.7%, and Camry finished 2022 as America's best-selling passenger car for the 21st straight year. Tacoma was the number-one small pickup for the 18th consecutive year.
But it’s not business as usual at the Japanese-owned automotive giant. The company is taking customers into the electrified age with a realistic attitude and education-forward strategy. The brand takes a “portfolio approach,” offering a range of options including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and fuel-cell technology.
As with most automakers, EVs and hybrid and alternative fuel-cell vehicles are important at Toyota. But rather than spend time and money trying to sell one powertrain against another, the automaker’s job is really more about how to educate consumers on how to choose which option is best for their wants and needs, says Lisa Materazzo, group vice president of Toyota division marketing at Toyota Motor North America.
In 2022, Toyota division’s electrified-vehicle sales represented nearly a quarter of total sales volume, so it’s clearly an approach that resonates.
For these reasons, Materazzo has been selected as MediaPost’s 2022 Automotive Marketer of the Year. She will receive the honor April 5 during a Q&A with MediaPost Automotive Editor Tanya Gazdik at the MediaPost Marketing: Automotive conference during the New York International Auto Show at Javits Center.
Materazzo has spent just over two years as group vice president of Toyota division marketing at Toyota Motor North America, responsible for all Toyota division market planning, advertising, merchandising, sales promotion, incentives, NASCAR and motor sports, and all social and digital media.
She joined Toyota in 1998 as a senior product planner and has held a variety of marketing, strategic planning and product planning positions. She served consecutive general-manager and vice-president roles in marketing for the Toyota division, and also held the top marketing post for the groundbreaking Scion brand.
Despite economic challenges, COVID-19, the ongoing computer chip and product headwinds, Toyota stayed the marketing course throughout 2022, says Ian Beavis, chief strategy officer for consultancy AMCI, and a juror for the Marketing: Automotive awards.
Materazzo “maintained strategic consistency, brand building and efficient retail tactics and never fell prey to the short-sighted tactics of many other brands,” Beavis says.“Toyota will emerge from this environment stronger than ever.”
Toyota came out of the gate in 2022 with strong product but in a challenging marketplace, says Scotty Reiss, editor and founder of A Girls Guide To Cars, and a juror for the Marketing: Automotive awards.
“The messaging around the Tundra redesign focused not just on traditional truck buyers, but also multicultural audiences, family car buyers and more, widening the appeal of the pickup,” Reiss says.
Materazzo led Toyota’s efforts to create strong campaigns for Crown, GR Corolla and the redesigned Toyota Prius, among others, Reiss says.
“To be able to execute so many different campaigns without losing sight of the varying interests of the consumer is testament to her strong leadership,” Reiss says.
Well deserved! Congrats Lisa