By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal
BLUE SPRINGS – David Copenhaver, the highest ranking American at Toyota’s Mississippi plant, will retire at the end of the year.
Copenhaver confirmed his plans during events this week to celebrate the first anniversary of Corolla production at the plant.
He’ll wrap up his 16-year-career with Toyota on Dec. 21. Toyota sources say the change in leadership is common every three to five years.
An official announcement about his replacement is expected later this year.
Copenhaver said he will stay in Tupelo, a community he has been active in since he was named vice president of production and administrative support of Toyota’s Blue Springs plant in August 2007. He currently is the chairman of the Community Development Foundation.
He hopes to spend his retirement playing golf and possibly teaching some classes.
“I’m not planning anything,” he said with a laugh Tuesday.
He also hopes to dedicate more time to his model train hobby. His railroad, which he works on during the winter, has grown to 800 square feet.
Before moving to Mississippi, he had been the American face of Toyota’s West Virginia plant since it opened.
Prior to joining Toyota, he spent more than 24 years in the economic development profession, throughout the Southeast.
He came to Toyota from Greensboro, N.C., where he managed the economic development program for the largest manufacturing area in North Carolina.