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Back in business: Tony Cramb is the new chief operating officer at AHG Holdings Group Ltd, after taking over from Paul Morris.

AUTOMOTIVE Holdings Group Ltd has appointed former Toyota Australia executive Tony Cramb to the position of chief operating officer of franchised automotive.

Mr Cramb was with Toyota Australia for 30 years and, until December 2017 when the company shifted its corporate headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne, was executive director of sales and marketing.

He replaces Paul Morris who has left AHG. Mr Morris held the COO role for 18 months and prior to joining AHG was the chief executive officer of Inchcape Holdings in Russia.

Mr Cramb will be based in Sydney and starts his new role on Monday October 22.

AHG managing director John McConnell said Mr Cramb had a wealth of experience in the automotive industry, with a track record of delivering exceptional commercial outcomes, leading business transformation and putting people and customers at the heart of the operations.

“Equally as important as his industry knowledge, Tony is an exceptional leader,” said Mr McConnell.

“He will bring a collaborative and engaging style of leadership to our franchised automotive business, and I am confident he will work effectively with the leadership team to set the broader strategy and expectations for delivery, and will then work closely with the vehicle manufacturers to execute that strategy.”

Mr Cramb spent five years as Toyota Australia’s executive director or sales and marketing and along with then president Dave Buttner, helped manage the company’s transition from a local manufacturer to a full-line importer.

His retirement from the company was announced in March 2017 alongside other key key senior executives, such as chairman Max Yasuda, president Dave Buttner and Lexus Chief executive Peter McGregor.

Mr Cramb has extensive experience in senior management positions at Toyota in Australia and overseas and became a member of the board in 2013.

He started his career in 1987 as a management trainee with York Motors in Sydney and was responsible for distribution of passenger vehicles throughout NSW and the ACT. In 1992, Mr Cramb became the youngest national manager in Toyota’s history.

After he left Toyota in December, Mr Cramb took a short break from corporate life.

By Neil Dowling and Tim Nicholson