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In a statement issued by Toyota, Jim Colon, Vice President, African American Business Strategy, North America has announced his intention to retire in March. Colon departs as one of highest-ranking and influential executives in the auto industry.

“Jim’s work in over 36 years of service has greatly supported the business of Toyota within the company, with dealers, and with the communities in which we interact,” said Miles King, Group VP of Human Resources, in the announcement.

Since joining Toyota in 1980, Jim has held a variety of significant positions in the field and at headquarters.  These positions have included General Manager of the Portland and Chicago Regions, Vice President of Sales and Dealer Development for the Lexus Division, Vice President of Sales for the Toyota Division, and Vice President of Product Communications for the Toyota Division before assuming his current position.

Colon’s retirement comes as Toyota gets closer to moving its corporate headquarters from Torrance, Calif. to Plano, Texas consolidating its engineering, sales, marketing, finance and corporate staff in one location.

The announcement did not mention a successor to Colon executive position within the African American Business Strategy unit. Neither Colon nor Toyota executives were available for further comment at deadline.

In 2013, Colon received the Marketing to African-Americans with Excellence (MAAX) Award for Marketing Executive of the Year from Target Market News.

Colon received his bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., and in May of 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Martin University in Indianapolis.

Colon currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Black Star Project and The First Tee of South Los Angeles.  In 2011, he was also selected to serve on the Board of Directors for California State University, Los Angeles’ Friends of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology organization. Colon was also appointed to serve as a member of The United Negro College Fund Los Angeles Leadership Council, among posts on other organizations.


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