The former chief engineer responsible for the development of the Toyota Yaris has taken over all responsibilities for the Japanese car maker's European manufacturing operations.
Dr Shuhei Toyoda, who gained his doctorate at Leeds University, becomes president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Europe Manufacturing (TMEM) as well as chairman of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK), where he was in charge of purchasing from 1992 to 1996.
In his new function, Dr Toyoda will oversee vehicle and engine plants in the UK and France, where diesel engine assembly is due to start in 2003), and Toyota's future transmission plant in Poland.
He said: “Our European operations are expanding rapidly and with this comes the need to develop our overall European organisation and effectiveness. I very much look forward to the challenge.”
Toshio Mizushima, the outgoing president of TMEM and chairman of TMUK, will return to Japan to take up a new position within Toyota Motor Company.