Having emigrated from Cuba and raised in New Orleans public housing, Carlos Liriano doesn’t fit the typical profile of an auto dealership owner. But through hard work, “saving every nickel I could get my hands on,” and Toyota’s commitment to a diverse dealer community, today Carlos owns Lost Pines Toyota dealership in Bastrop, Texas.
Beginning in the early 2000s, as a dealership general manager with an eye toward becoming an owner, Carlos became involved with Toyota Lexus Minority Owner Dealers Association (TLMODA). This organization advocates for and promotes minority dealers and partners with Toyota and Lexus to understand and meet their needs, as well as the needs of minority consumers, businesses and government and industry stakeholders.
Through TLMODA, Carlos was exposed to Toyota executives and dealers and gained a better sense of what Toyota was looking for in a dealer candidate — and how it could help him achieve his dream.
Providing Support and Customer Training
In Carlos, Toyota saw someone with the experience, passion and work ethic to become a successful dealer.
The Gulf States Toyota Dealer Investment Group, which provides capital, operational and management support to qualified candidates for women- and minority-owned dealerships, partnered with Carlos by purchasing the Lost Pines Toyota real estate, building the facility and providing him with customer training.
“Without Toyota’s support, there is no way I would have been able to open a dealership. It makes a huge difference when you have a manufacturer who wants to partner with you and see you succeed.”