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TOYOTA NAMES ST. ANGELO NORTH AMERICAN QUALITY CHIEF

By NBF NEWS

Toyota Motor Corporation, attempting to rebound from record recalls, appointed the head of its largest North American plant as its first vehicle-quality chief for the region.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday, that Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president for North American manufacturing, joins a global panel President Akio Toyoda is assembling, the company said in a statement.

Toyoda, who said last month he will lead the group, is to discuss the quality team in Japan on March 30.

'In keeping with Akio Toyoda's mandate, North America will have greater autonomy and play a critical role in decision- making on recalls and other safety issues,' St. Angelo said in the statement.

The world's largest automaker is working to repair its reputation after recalling 8.5 million vehicles worldwide to fix defects linked to unintended acceleration and to adjust brakes. Toyoda, whose grandfather founded the Toyota City, Japan-based company, said the global quality committee will review all company operations.

St. Angelo, 54, who also is president of Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, joined Toyota in 2006 after working for three decades at the former General Motors Corporation Toyota said this week that Didier Leroy, an executive vice president, would be its chief quality officer for Europe.

The North American quality task force that St. Angelo leads will work with Rodney Slater, United States transportation secretary under President Bill Clinton.

Slater was named a member of a Toyota advisory panel for the region on March 2.

Dino Triantafyllos, vice president of quality for North American engineering and manufacturing, will serve as regional product safety executive, a new role, Toyota.

The regional task force's responsibilities will include improving cooperation with regulatory authorities, quality assurance steps, customer research, and training, Toyota said.

The company's US sales unit is based Torrance, California.

Toyota's American depositary receipts fell 61 cents to $80.97 at 12:38 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They declined 3.1 per cent this year through on Wednesday.


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