Toyota Motor North America announced it’s creating a Manufacturing Project Innovation Center (MPIC) based at its Plano headquarters, which will be led by group vice president Mike Bafan.
Along with a focus on customer mobility, the center will also address CASE (connected, autonomous, shared, electric) technologies, benchmarking, and advanced processing initiatives that include its new technology at Toyota’s 15 North American manufacturing facilities. The new innovation center will report to Christopher Reynolds, chief administration officer, manufacturing and corporate resources.
“These improvements will enable our manufacturing team to better respond to our customers’ needs as we transform our business into a world-class mobility company,” Reynolds said in a statement. “We are more confident than ever that we’re at the leading-edge of our industry’s transformation and have positioned ourselves for long-term, sustainable success.”
The automotive company is also making personnel moves in its operations. Susan Elkington is adding passenger car and SUV platform leader to her current role as president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, and Kevin Voelkel is adding truck platform leader to his current role as president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas.
All of Toyota’s recent moves are part of a commitment to mobility and an effort to improve unprecedented changes in the automotive landscape, according to a statement. The company already has $27 billion in direct U.S. investment, including 10 U.S. plants, and a commitment for $13 billion in additional U.S. investment by 2021.
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