Aisin Seiki names Toyota veteran Yoshiaki Kato as tech center president

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DETROIT -- Japanese supplier Aisin Seiki Co. today said Yoshiaki “Yoshi” Kato has become president of the Aisin Technical Center of America in Plymouth, Mich., near Detroit.

Kato, 59, joined Aisin in 2006 and most recently was senior managing officer of the company’s research and development sector in Japan. Previously, he spent more than 25 years in engineering and product development positions with Toyota Motor Corp., including several years in senior management at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor.

Kato replaces Takashi “Jay” Aoyama, who remains with the technical center as senior technical adviser.

Kato is also responsible for FT Techno of America, the 950-acre test track and proving ground near Lansing, Mich. The proving ground supports vehicle performance evaluations for major automakers, suppliers, and government and academic institutions.

The Aisin Technical Center of America was founded in 2008 to lead the company’s engineering and product development expansion in the U.S. The Technical Center is a subsidiary of Japan-based Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., a global supplier of automotive components such as brakes, transmissions, drivetrain, chassis, body, and information-related navigation systems and engine-related parts.

In North America, Aisin Group companies include Aisin World Corp. of America. Last year, Aisin World announced it had outgrown its two locations in Plymouth and would move into a larger campus in neighboring Northville Township, Mich. Aisin World employs 220 in Southeast Michigan.

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