Laurence Iliff

Dallas Bureau Reporter
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75087 Rockwall, Texas
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Recent authored articles

Jason Vena

Transitioned dealership to one-price model while boosting F&I

Toyota's cloud city

Toyota's new connected-car unit lives apart from the automaker's massive North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. That's the way executives wanted it.

Toyota opens new North American HQ in Texas

Toyota unveiled plans for the nearly $1 billion project three years ago to create more unified operations by bringing together quality engineering, sales, marketing, financial services and corporate functions at one site.

TOYOTA: Finally, a sales increase

Toyota Motor chalked up its first sales gain of the year in the United States on the strength of trucks sold by its namesake brand. Lexus continued to struggle.

Toyota's TNGA platform inspires changes to factory

Toyota executives say the influence of the new platform goes beyond the cars to define a new approach to every aspect of car-making.

Toyota's Kentucky plant launches 2018 Camry

Toyota launched production of the re-engineered 2018 Camry at its plant in Kentucky, which is undergoing a major overhaul to move the sedan to the company's new global architecture.

Camry ups its game without losing its soul

The only thing the midsize sedan kept from the previous generation was the Toyota logo and its reason to be.

Mexican auto suppliers strategize for NAFTA talks

While President Donald Trump points the finger at automakers making cars south of the border, the Mexican auto parts sector has even more at stake.

'18 Camry adds power, mpg

The re-engineered 2018 Toyota Camry will feature a big bump in fuel economy and horsepower with a new base engine and new 8-speed transmission.

Toyota bumps up price, power and mpg on 2018 Camry

The re-engineered 2018 Toyota Camry gets a modest increase to its sticker price, but a big bump in fuel economy and horsepower.

Toyota remixes Camry for 2018

Toyota engineers were asked to create two distinct versions of the redesigned Camry that would help broaden its reach. The cars also had to pass the 200-yard test.

Toyota mixes new flavours for Camry as Canadian sales slump

Toyota engineers were asked to create two distinct versions of the redesigned Camry that would help broaden its reach. Canadian sales are down 25 per cent to start 2017.

'18 Camry showcases new Entune system

Toyota doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and so it's stepping up its game to try to keep buyers from pining too much for the smartphone-style systems and interfaces.

TOYOTA'S JIM LENTZ: Reorganization will speed response to market

Jim Lentz talks about Toyota's North American reorganization and how it will address what CEO Akio Toyoda has called a sense of crisis at the automaker.

Lentz says Toyota is reorganized and ready

A surprise question from Akio Toyoda launched North America chief Jim Lentz on a journey that crosses a major milestone next month with the inauguration of Toyota’s new headquarters in Plano, Texas.

TOYOTA: Lexus is a drag on sales

The Toyota division eked out a small gain in May, but it was not enough to offset Lexus' decline from weak car sales. The automaker's May sales fell 0.5 percent.

Lexus patient with fixed-price program

A year into the Lexus Plus no-haggle pricing program, the expected waves of dealers joining are only ripples. But brand executives say a slow and steady pace has its benefits.

Lexus tempers expectations, but says it's 'all in' with motorsports

Lexus has enjoyed a sterling reputation as a luxury car maker from its founding in 1989, “but it's just not enough” anymore, says Jeff Bracken, Lexus general manager.

Bob Carter and the car that's now a couch

In his youth, Toyota executive Bob Carter would visit the short tracks of western Pennsylvania on Saturday nights with his brother, soaking up the local racing culture.

When Christina met rally

Racing may not have brought Ryan Millen and Christina Fate together. But it did keep them together as their relationship blossomed.

From tossed beer to popped champagne: Toyota's NASCAR journey

Ed Laukes, Toyota Division's marketing chief, was one of the few people in the stands wearing the brand's logo a decade ago at Toyota's first NASCAR race in Michigan.

How Toyota transforms America's best-selling car to compete for other titles

Turning the latest generation of the production Camry into the NASCAR racing version required even more than the usual feats of styling and engineering that went into past transformations.

Elite brands give dealership group a halo

Park Place Premier Collection finds opportunities to show off eye-popping Rolls, Bentley, McLaren and Maserati models at auto shows, charity events and at a supercar showcase each fall.

Fresh product lets Toyota's marketers 'cut loose'

Ed Laukes, the new head of Toyota Division marketing, says the brand's move in a more emotional direction opens the door for more emotional, edgier advertising.

When a new dealership is wiped out by a tornado

Four tornadoes struck Canton, a small city about 60 miles east of Dallas, on April 29. Dealer Randall Noe got his first look at the wreckage the next day.