Toyota Motor North America announces manufacturing executive changes

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The FINANCIAL — Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) announces executive changes to its manufacturing organization, effective January 4, 2021.

David Fernandes, who currently serves as senior vice president, Manufacturing, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), will become president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (TMMMS). TMMMS assembles one of Toyota’s core vehicles, the Corolla. In this role, Fernandes will be responsible for all manufacturing and administration functions, reporting to Brian Krinock, senior vice president, Vehicle Manufacturing, TMNA. Prior to his TSAM assignment, Fernandes served as president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama (TMMAL) and held a variety of roles within TMNA’s Manufacturing and Production Engineering groups. Fernandes began his Toyota career in 1998 as a group leader at the company’s West Virginia plant.

Current TMMMS president, Sean Suggs, will assume full responsibilities as group vice president, Social Innovation based in Plano, Texas, as previously announced.

Jason Puckett, who currently serves as vice president, Administration at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI), will become president of TMMAL. TMMAL assembles four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines. Puckett started his career with Toyota in 1997 as a specialist in Assembly preceding TMMI’s start of production. He has held a variety of roles at TMMI including vice president, Manufacturing; general manager, Bodyweld and Stamping; and general manager, Production Control. Puckett spent two years at Toyota’s manufacturing and engineering headquarters as general manager, Corporate Strategy, responsible for overall manufacturing strategic initiatives in North America. In his new role, Puckett will report directly to Norm Bafunno, senior vice president, Unit Manufacturing, TMNA.

Current TMMAL president David Finch, who has been on assignment at TMNA since 2019, will return to TSAM as senior vice president, Manufacturing. Finch has been instrumental in leading TMMAL’s $288 million expansion effort, including a new 150,000 square foot V6 engine assembly line, and the creation of 450 new jobs.

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