New Toyota Mississippi president starts Aug. 1

BLUE SPRINGS – With a little more than a year to go before production begins, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi will get a new plant president.
On Wednesday, Toyota named Masafumi Hamaguchi president of TMMMS, starting Aug. 1.
Last week, the Japanese automaker announced it was restarting full operations at the plant, which will begin production of the Corolla sedan in fall 2011.
In addition, Toyota appointed Steve St. Angelo as chairman of both TMMMS and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. St. Angelo has been president of both facilities.
Misao Fukuda was named president of TMMMS in 2007, but returned to Japan in December 2008 after Toyota announced it was delaying the opening of the plant.
In the interim, St. Angelo served as president of Toyota Mississippi.
Toyota on Tuesday made several other appointments to its manufacturing operations in Indiana, Texas and Ontario, saying it was an “organizational move providing more regional autonomy to Toyota’s North American manufacturing operations.”
“These changes allow us to move faster and more efficiently in key decision-making,” said Tetsuo Agata, president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, or TEMA.
Hamaguchi, 49, was born in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan in 1961 and currently lives with his wife and two children in Toyota City.
He joined Toyota Motor Corp. in 1985 after graduating from Kobe University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Since then, he has worked in Toyota’s public affairs division; in administration at Toyota’s Tsutsumi plant; and in the company’s production control division for the automaker in Japan.
In 2004, his responsibilities shifted to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas until 2008. He returned to the production control division from 2008 to 2009.
Since last year, Hamaguchi has been with the supply management department of Toyota’s sales operation planning division, where he was promoted to general manager in January.
Rounding out the management team at TMMMS are David Copenhaver, vice president of administration, and Al Ackerman, vice president of manufacturing.

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

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