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Executive changes at Toyota North America

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Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) announced executive changes to its Social Innovation and Toyota de Mexico operations.

Effective September 1, 2020, Sean Suggs, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (TMMMS), will be assigned as group vice president, chief social innovation officer, TMNA. Suggs will take on a dual-capped role, keeping his TMMMS responsibilities until further notice. 

In his new role, Suggs is responsible for TMNA’s philanthropic efforts, the Toyota USA Foundation, and the corporate diversity and inclusion strategy. He will report to Sandra Phillips Rogers, group vice president, general counsel, chief legal officer and chief diversity officer, TMNA.

As president of TMMMS, Suggs will continue to report to Brian Krinock, senior vice president, vehicle plants, TMNA.

Suggs is replacing Albert (Al) Smith, Jr., group vice president, chief social innovation officer, TMNA, who is retiring after 30 years with the company. Smith was instrumental in shaping the company’s Social Innovation team and its direction. Under his leadership, Toyota has been recognized by numerous organizations for its commitment to improving the communities where we operate and for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, resulting in Toyota’s rise in the rankings to 10th place on DiversityInc’s 2020 Top 50 Companies for Diversity®.

“Strong community engagement and inclusiveness have become more prevalent in our daily lives,” said Phillips Rogers. “We thank Al for all he has done for our company, and Sean will continue to uphold Toyota’s commitment for Respect for All, while helping to create future initiatives that will make a lasting, positive impact on our workplace, marketplace and society.”

In addition, effective August 3, 2020, Luis Lozano, external affairs senior director, general counsel and compliance, Toyota Motor Sales de México (TMEX) will be assigned as president of Toyota de Mexico (TdM). Lozano will replace Mike Bafan, current president of TdM.

Lozano, who joined the company in 2005, will be responsible for public affairs, including Legal and Compliance, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, and Customs and Trade Compliance for Toyota in Mexico. He will report to Chris Reynolds, chief administrative officer, manufacturing and corporate resources, TMNA. 

Bafan remains chairman of Toyota Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Guanajuato (TMMGT) and group vice president, Manufacturing Project Innovation Center (MPIC), TMNA, based in Plano, Texas.

Tom Sullivan remains president of TMEX responsible for sales and working with Toyota’s dealer network in Mexico.

Additionally, Jun Umemura, who served as group vice president of Mexico Affairs, TMNA, will be retiring after more than 50 years of service with Toyota.

During Umemura’s 50-year career with Toyota, he has helped the company establish its U.S. manufacturing operations in 1984 and was involved with the planning and start-up of the company’s first wholly-owned vehicle manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and Ontario, Canada.  He was also responsible for the start-up of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Baja California (TMMBC), Toyota’s first plant in Mexico, established in 2002. In 2016, he became group vice president of TMNA, responsible for Mexico operations, as well as Board member and executive advising officer for TMEX, TMMBC and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Guanajuato (TMMGT).

“Jun’s Toyota career spans five decades and helped lay the groundwork for our manufacturing footprint, represented today by 14 plants in North America,” said Reynolds. “At the same time, Al’s career spanned three decades and his contributions to the organizations’ shared impact strategy, corporate planning, sales and service operations are unparalleled. We thank Jun and Al for their dedicated service to Toyota and our customers, and welcome Sean and Luis, both of whom are proven leaders, well-respected within the industry and passionate about our company.”

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