Milestones: Tetsuo Ogawa, to Succeed Jim Lentz as CEO Toyota Motor North America

AutoInformed.com on Toyota NA executive chnages

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Toyota Motor North America says effective April 1, 2020, Jim Lentz, chief executive officer TMNA, will retire after 38 years with the company.

Tetsuo “Ted” Ogawa, chief operating officer TMNA, will succeed Lentz as CEO, reporting to Didier Leroy, TMNA Vice Chairman and president of business planning and operations, Toyota Motor Corporation. In his 38-year career, Lentz has been a part of a number of key moments in Toyota’s history, including:

  • Launching the Scion brand to capture next-generation customers by experimenting with and services. After completing its purpose, Scion was eventually folded into the Toyota brand.
  • Forging stronger relationships with Toyota and Lexus dealers and financial services partners.
  • Toyota and Lexus brands recognized as leaders by consistently providing the best customer experience in the industry.
  • Serving as a positive voice for the importance of the Auto Industry in the U.S. and helping to champion the merger of the industry’s trade associations.
  • Successfully navigating the company through several significant challenges, such as: Quality crisis issues, the great earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and one of the worst recessions in U.S. history.
  • Consolidating and restructuring the company’s North American operations to become, “One Toyota.”  

“After finalizing our One Toyota consolidation and laying the groundwork for the future of mobility, now is the time for a new leadership team to take the next steps to help further transform Toyota,” said Lentz. “Tetsuo Ogawa, along with our executive leadership team, are all part of a deep bench with a proven track record of delivering results and a relentless focus on our customers. I’m confident the future of Toyota is in good hands with these leaders and our 40,000 North American team members.”

Toyota claimed Ogawa will focus on further transforming Toyota into a mobility company in and beyond the automotive realm. This includes modernizing TMNA’s automotive operations to improve efficiency and speed, strengthening operational execution and leading the company’s transition into new areas of mobility.

Prior to his current role as COO and operating officer, Toyota Motor Corporation, Ogawa was executive vice president and chief administrative officer, TMNA. After joining Toyota in 1984, Ogawa’s roles included deputy chief executive officer, China Region, president of Toyota Motor China Investment Company, Ltd., and serving as an expatriate from Japan at Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, California.

AutoInformed.com on:

State-by-State

Alabama: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama (TMMAL) – $288,000,000. In Alabama, Toyota’s investment will increase annual engine capacity from 670,000 to 900,000 by the end of 2021 to increase product flexibility and adapt to market demand. New 4-cylinder and V6 engine lines will add 450 new jobs to its Huntsville, Alabama, facility, the largest hiring in the plant’s history. The investment also includes a building expansion. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $1.2 billion.

Kentucky: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) – $238,000,000. Toyota’s Kentucky vehicle plant, the company’s largest globally, will begin production of the Lexus ES 300h hybrid in May 2019 with annual capacity of 12,000 units while RAV4 Hybrid production will start January 2020 with an annual capacity of 100,000 units. TMMK’s 8,000 workers also build Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES models with an annual capacity of 550,000 vehicles. Overall, the plant represents an investment of more than $7 billion.

Missouri: Bodine Aluminum Troy, Missouri – $62,000,000. Investments in Toyota’s Bodine Aluminum plant in Missouri will provide equipment to produce an additional 864,000 cylinder-heads for Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). Bodine’s 900 Missouri workers currently produce more than 3 million cylinder heads a year, which are made for every Toyota and Lexus manufactured in North America. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $455 million.

Tennessee: Bodine Aluminum Jackson, Tennessee – $50,000,000. The Tennessee investment includes a building expansion and equipment to double the capacity of hybrid transaxle cases and housings to 240,000 annually. The investment will also provide equipment to produce an additional 288,000 engine blocks a year for TNGA. The plant’s 300 workers currently produce 1.7 million engine blocks a year, which supply every Toyota and Lexus manufactured in North America, and 580,000 transmission cases and housings. Bodine will add 13 new jobs to its facility in Tennessee. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $365 million.

West Virginia: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia (TMMWV) – $111,000,000. The West Virginia investment includes a building expansion and equipment to double capacity of hybrid transaxles from 120,000 units (Start of Production-2020) to 240,000 units annually in 2021. To meet the production demands, TMMWV will add 123 new jobs to its facility in Buffalo, West Virginia. Overall, the plant represents a $1.4 billion investment.

Ongoing Additional Investment

Toyota already has expansive presence in the U.S. with 10 manufacturing facilities.  Toyota has announced a joint venture with Mazda to build an additional plant in Huntsville, Alabama. The $1.6 billion joint investment will create up to 4,000 new jobs with production slated for 2021.

Toyota’s Princeton, Indiana, plant is undergoing a $600 million transformation (previously announced) to incorporate TNGA and increase Highlander capacity by 40,000 units annually. With this, Toyota is adding 400-plus people to its team in Indiana. In Blue Springs, Mississippi, Toyota is launching the all-new 2020 Corolla on the TNGA line that included a $170 million investment and an increase of 400 jobs (previously announced). Currently, Toyota employs more than 37,000 Americans.

 

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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