Toyota taps first female president to lead SA production facility

The move comes as the automaker is promoting its former Alamo City plant leader.

Toyota Motor North America has named Susanna Kazunas as the new president of its Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc. plant in San Antonio. (Gabe Hernandez (SABJ), San Antonio Business Journal)

SAN ANTONIO – Toyota Motor North America is making multiple executive changes, including a pair directly impacting the leadership of the automaker’s San Antonio manufacturing facilities.

The changes are tied to the company’s push to drive growth, advance vehicle electrification efforts and address future mobility.

The latest moves include the promotion of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc. President Kevin Voelkel to senior vice president of vehicle plants. In that new role, Voelkel, who was tapped to lead the Alamo City plant in 2018, will oversee North American vehicle production at Toyota Motor Manufacturing plants in Texas, California, Indiana, Mississippi, Canada and Mexico.

Voelkel will also have oversight of Toyota’s TABC Inc. operations.

As a result of Voelkel’s promotion, Susann Kazunas will take over as president of the Toyota’s San Antonio production facilities. She will be the first female to hold that position at the sprawling South Side campus.

Kazunas, who was most recently vice president of manufacturing at TMMTX, will report to Voelkel. She played a key role a few years ago as the San Antonio plant was positioning itself for a production pivot, trading out the manufacturing of Toyota’s smaller Tacoma pickup for Sequoia SUV production work to complement its Tundra assembly work.

That shift provided TMMTX critical flexibility at a time when supply chain issues threatened significant disruption.

In addition to the changes affecting Voelkel and Kazunas, Toyota officials said Brian Krinock, who has served as senior vice president for vehicle plants, is retiring effective March 31. Krinock has overseen engineering and manufacturing for Toyota’s seven North American vehicle assembly plants.

Read the full story in the San Antonio Business Journal.

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.

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