Toyota Kentucky president one of top women in industry

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Susan Elkington

PLANO, Texas (WTVQ/Press Release) – The president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky is one of six Toyota executives named among the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry by Automotive News.

As president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) since 2018, Susan Elkington oversees an $8 billion operation, which employs about 10,000 people, and in a year, can produce as many as 550,000 vehicles and more than 600,000 engines.

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TMMK is Toyota’s largest production facility globally, producing the Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES 350 (including hybrid versions of all three), and RAV4 Hybrid; plus, four-cylinder and V6 engines, in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Elkington joined TMMK in January 2017 as senior vice president, overseeing the plant’s manufacturing and administrative functions.

Prior to this role, she served as general manager, Production Control Division at Toyota Motor Corporation’s global headquarters in Toyota City, Japan, supporting Toyota’s 53 manufacturing plants worldwide.

Elkington began her career with Toyota in 1998 in Princeton, Indiana, as an assembly engineering specialist. By 2013, she held the position of manufacturing vice president at TMMI.

She serves on the board of the Prichard Committee, is a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce board member and a member of the executive committee, a STEP Ahead Honoree (2014), an ATHENA of Southwest Indiana Award Finalist (2013) and a member of the board of trustees of the University of Evansville.

Elkington earned her mechanical engineering degree from the University of Evansville, in Evansville, Indiana.

The six Toyota executives include:

  • Leah Curry, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc.
  • Susan Elkington, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
  • Karen Ideno, group vice president, Toyota Financial Services – Sales, Product & Marketing, Mazda Financial Services
  • Sandra Phillips Rogers, general counsel and chief legal officer, chief diversity officer, TMNA
  • Kristen Tabar, group vice president, Vehicle Development & Engineering, TMNA
  • Julia Wada, group vice president, Strategy, Innovation & Transformation, Toyota Financial Services

100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry recognizes women who are leaders in the automotive field – those who make major decisions and have significant influence at their companies. The six leaders from Toyota join honorees from 72 companies. Automotive News has published the list of the industry’s top female executives every five years since 2000.

“We are proud of these leaders,” said Ted Ogawa, president and CEO, TMNA. “Their commitment to our teams, their dedication to driving innovation within our organization, and championing diversity, inclusion and growth for women is critical to our company’s mission of delivering mobility for all, and strengthening the overall automotive industry.”

Elkington began her career with Toyota in 1998 and joined TMMK as senior vice president, overseeing its manufacturing and administrative functions in January 2017, before being named president in 2018. Prior to coming to TMMK, she served as general manager, Production Control Division at Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC) global headquarters in Toyota City, Japan, supporting Toyota’s 53 manufacturing plants worldwide.

Earlier this year, Elkington was inducted into the Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class and was added as a non-executive member of Toyota Motor Corporation Australia’s (TMCA) Executive Management Committee (EMC).

The 2020 class of Automotive News’ 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry emerged from months of nominations, and attracted hundreds of entries from the United States, Canada and Mexico.