Osamu Nagata, chief executive of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., plans to expand existing sites and likely add an assembly plant in Mexico in a bid to quickly boost the carmaker’s capacity. Nagata told Automotive News in an interview that Toyota needs to catch up with market growth, adding that he is responsible for “producing more."
Nagata is also leading the carmaker’s radical effort to overhaul product development and commonize parts in North America. He, though, admits that some suppliers, particularly small ones, fear being left out by the overhaul. Nagata, who is also head of Toyota’s extensive technical center in Ann Arbor, is a confidant of Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda. He has helped prepare Toyoda for the 2010 congressional hearings on sudden acceleration and the slow pace of Toyota's recall process.
Nagata chose Toyota's Ann Arbor tech center as his base of operations to link better with suppliers located around Detroit as he determines which of them would be part of the carmaker’s r&d overhaul.
He remarked he’d like to establish his personal network in Michigan to learn more about “the people in the automotive industry.” Nagata is the first CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America not to work out of Erlanger, Kentucky. He remarked that one of his missions is to further develop the capability of r&d and manufacturing capacity in Michigan. [source: automotive news - sub. required]