Mazda’s North American Operations today announced several leadership moves with connections to its $1.6 billion joint operating plant with Toyota in Huntsville.
The changes are all effective April 1.
Masashi Otsuka is being promoted to the new position of senior vice president of the Alabama business unit. Mazda said Otsuka will lead the new operations in Alabama by working with suppliers, handling logistics for the plant and managing quality assurance.
Mazda plans on manufacturing a crossover SUV exclusive to the North American market. Masahiro Moro, the incoming chairman and CEO of Mazda’s North American Operations (MNAO), said the "Alabama business unit is crucial for MNAO’s success.
“I believe Masashi Otsuka’s outstanding business acumen will lead us to a successful launch of the plant and the all-new crossover SUV,” Moro said.
Jeffrey Guyton, who is currently president and CEO of Mazda Motor Europe, will be appointed to president of MNAO. Guyton will oversee all aspects of the company’s operations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including sales, marketing, parts and service, logistics, research and development, customer support and regional operations.
“The North American markets are crucial to Mazda’s success globally, and we have made significant investments here, particularly in a new joint venture production facility in Alabama,” Moro said. “Jeff will be instrumental in delivering significant business growth here in the U.S. During his 16 years at MME, Jeff successfully elevated both brand value and profit in Europe, and I know he will be a strong leader for MNAO as we continue on our journey to premium."
The Mazda-Toyota plant is projected to create 4,000 new jobs, with vehicles expected to start rolling off the line in 2021. The factory will produce about 300,000 vehicles a year, with Toyota manufacturing the Corolla.
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