Toyota Announces Executive Changes in North America

Appointments Include Manufacturing, R&D, and Headquarters Locations
 
December 22, 2016
PLANO, Texas, December 22, 2016 – Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA), announced executive changes across its operations, effective as of January 3, 2017.
 
The appointments are part of the broader ‘One Toyota’ strategy, building upon previous moves the company has made to enhance regional autonomy, self-reliance and responsibility.  With major North American business affiliates and leaders headquartered in one location, the company will be better equipped to speed decision making, share best practices, and leverage the combined strength of its employees.    
 
Jim Lentz, CEO of TMNA, said: “We are fortunate to have some of the most talented and respected people in the industry.  I am extremely proud and appreciative of their contributions, and trust in their leadership as we continue to advance our One Toyota Vision.”
 
The changes announced include:
 
David Fernandes is named president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, located in Huntsville, Ala., where he will be responsible for all manufacturing and administrative operations.
 
Kent Rice is named group vice president, Corporate Quality at TMNA, and will have responsibility for promoting overall NA Toyota Quality direction. 
 
Kazuaki Shingo adds to his current role as executive advisor in the Technical Strategy Planning Office and will become group vice president of the Product Development office at TMNA R&D in Ann Arbor, Mich.  He will be responsible for all vehicle development projects in North America.
 
Norm Bafunno is transitioning out of his role as president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. (TMMI), and is named group vice president of the One Toyota Competiveness project.
 
Millie Marshall is named TMMI president in Princeton, Ind., and will have responsibilities for all manufacturing and administrative operations at the plant.
 
Jim Bolte is named group vice president of Manufacturing Efficiency and will have responsibility to support manufacturing cost competitiveness and alignment of standards and policies. His primary work location will be Georgetown, Ky.
 
Leah Curry is appointed Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia president in Buffalo, W. Va.  She will have responsibilities for all manufacturing and administrative operations at the plant. 
 
Susan Elkington is named as senior vice president at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in Georgetown, Ky.  She will be responsible for all vehicle manufacturing and all plant administrative operations. 
 
Akitoshi Ichino is named president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi in Tupelo, Miss.  He will have responsibilities for all manufacturing and administrative operations. 
 
Naoki Kojima is assigned the role of TMNA treasurer in Plano, Texas and will have responsibility for all North America Accounting and Finance.
 
Chris Nielsen is adding the role of chief quality officer of the North American Quality Task Force to his current role as senior vice president of the Product Support pillar. 
 
Chris Tinto is adding the role of group vice president of Future Business Technology within the Corporate Strategy and Planning Division.  Located in Plano, Tinto will have responsibilities for commercialization of TMNA new business ventures while maintaining some Project Management Office duties.
 
 
About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to advancing mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve produced more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.5 million in the U.S.) in 2015 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
 
Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support nonprofits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
 
 
 
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