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Toyota Appoints New Head of European R&D

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has appointed Masato Katsumata to the position of Senior Vice-President of Research & Development (R&D), effective 1 February 2009.

He succeeds Kazuhiko Miyadera, whose five-year tenure saw a €75 million expansion to Toyota’s R&D capability and the European development of the third-generation Avensis.

Katsumata joined Toyota in 1987 after graduating with a degree in hydrodynamics from Tokyo University. He started his career as a chassis engineer before making the shift to product planning in 1993 and product management in 2000. In 2003, he returned to the Planning Division (R&D), where he managed mid-term R&D strategy.

In 2005, Katsuma he was named Chief Engineer of a new-generation Toyota vehicle, which will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show on 2 March 2009.

Established in 1987, the Toyota Technical Centre is home to TME’s research and development, purchasing, and production engineering activities. Early in 2006, Toyota inaugurated the expanded Technical Centre. In 2007, an additional 35,000 m2 were added to house the expanded design and engineering functions. Located in Zaventem, Belgium, the centre currently represents a total investment of €140 million.

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