Now, perhaps more than ever, Toyota's relationship with its supply base is critical and will play a key role in the company's recovery effort.
After a year of recalls and sliding sales, attention is focused on Toyota's quality, and that extends to the work of the company's suppliers and the automaker's ties to those suppliers.
In North America, Robert Young is at the center of that world for Toyota.
Effective today, Jan. 3, Young takes over as head of North American purchasing for Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc. in Erlanger, Ky.
Young will be a panelist at a special session on purchasing at the 2011 Automotive News World Congress.
Previously, Young was general manager of vehicle parts and materials purchasing, responsible for overseeing the purchase of electrical, body, steel and structural commodities for Toyota in North America.
Young joins a list of high-level speakers at the World Congress, scheduled Jan. 11-13, during media days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Keynote speakers include General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson; Ron Bloom, senior adviser to the U.S. secretary of the treasury; Mark Fields, Ford Motor Co.'s president of the Americas; Ralph Gilles, CEO of Chrysler Group's Dodge car brand and senior vice president of product design; and Jim Lentz, COO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. c