Toyota Gets New Leadership in Alabama and Mississippi

Jason Puckett (left) and David Finch

Jason Puckett has been named the new president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama, effective January 4, 2021.

Puckett, who currently serves as vice president of administration at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, started his career with Toyota in 1997 as a specialist in assembly preceding TMMI’s start of production. Since then, he has held several roles in manufacturing, bodyweld and stamping, production control and at Toyota’s manufacturing and engineering headquarters as general manager of corporate strategy.

Current TMMAL President David Finch, who has been on assignment at Toyota Motor North America since 2019 and been with the company close to 30 years, will return to Toyota South Africa Motors as senior vice president, manufacturing. Finch has been instrumental in leading the $288 million expansion effort at Toyota’s Alabama plant, including a new 150,000-square-foot V-6 engine assembly line and the creation of 450 new jobs. The expansion was announced in March, 2019, with Finch arriving at the plant in May of that same year.

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David Fernandes (left) and Sean Suggs

When Finch came to Alabama, he replaced David Fernandes, who had led TMMAL for three years. At that time, Fernandes became senior vice president, manufacturing at Toyota South Africa Motors. With these latest executive moves, Fernandes is returning stateside to become president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi. In addition to his time in Alabama, Fernandes has held numerous roles within Toyota Motor North America’s Manufacturing and Production Engineering groups. He began his career with Toyota in 1998 as a group leader at the company’s West Virginia plant.

Current Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi President Sean Suggs will assume full responsibilities as group vice president for social innovation for Toyota Motor North America, based in Plano, Texas. In this role, Suggs is responsible for the organization’s shared impact, including philanthropy efforts, the Toyota USA Foundation, and the corporate diversity and inclusion strategy. In addition, he is responsible for the organization’s environmental sustainability function across North America. Suggs joined Toyota in 1998, but left Toyota in 2011 for a stint with Nissan’s North American headquarters. During that period, he directed production quality at Nissan’s manufacturing and assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi. He returned to Toyota in 2014.

Toyota’s Alabama plant in Huntsville manufactures 4-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines. The Mississippi plant produces the Corolla and employs approximately 2,000 people.

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