Toyota Motor Corp. Taps Plano‑Based TMNA Exec As Chief Project Leader of Its New Hydrogen Factory

Shinichi Yasui, a 35-year Toyota veteran and R&D leader, will take up the post at the Hydrogen Factory—a newly established company dedicated to accelerating customer-focused product development and production of fuel cells and hydrogen-related products.

Shinichi Yasui, executive vice president at Plano-based Toyota Motor North America, will be appointed chief project leader of the Hydrogen Factory at Toyota Motor Corp., effective July 1, the company announced.

Toyota said the Hydrogen Factory is a newly established company dedicated to accelerating customer-focused product development and production of fuel cells and hydrogen-related products. To create the Hydrogen Factory, Toyota is integrating existing organizations and employees involved in Toyota’s hydrogen business.
The current hydrogen business area will be abolished, it said. 

The company’s goal is to align business strategy, development, production, sales, and marketing under one roof. This will allow for faster decision-making, stronger alliances with rapidly expanding markets, including China and Europe, and the promotion of sustainable commercialization.

Related personnel changes will be effective on July 1.

35-year Toyota veteran to take on hydrogen

Yasui is a 35-year Toyota veteran and has been a member of Toyota’s North American executive committee since 2017, leading its R&D operations in the region.

He joined Toyota Motor Corp. in 1988 as an engineer, developing air bag systems, seats, and seat belts.

During his tenure at the company, Yasui has held a variety of engineering and product planning roles and in 2013, became chief engineer for all Corolla models. In 2016, he was appointed executive general manager of product planning at TMC’s Mid-Size Vehicle Company before becoming executive vice president at Toyota Motor North America.

Yasui holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Meiji University in Tokyo and an executive MBA from the University of Michigan.

Spending $1M per hour on R&D

Toyota said the company will announce Yasui’s successor and more details about his new role at a later date.

Globally, Toyota said it spends around $1 million per hour on R&D to ensure that Toyota rapidly and continuously develops cutting-edge, high-quality, and appealing vehicles.

The company added that it’s committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through its Toyota and Lexus brands and at its more than 1,800 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America who contribute to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 45 million cars and trucks at its 13 manufacturing plants.

With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, Toyota currently offers 22 electrified options.

Toyota and PACCAR expanded their hydrogen fuel cell collaboration 

Earlier this month, Toyota North America and truck maker PACCAR announced they had expanded their joint efforts to develop and produce zero emissions, hydrogen fuel cell Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks powered by Toyota’s next-generation hydrogen fuel cell modules.

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