Home » Susan Elkington to head Toyota’s operations in Georgetown; Wil James retiring

Susan Elkington to head Toyota’s operations in Georgetown; Wil James retiring

Susan Elkington
Susan Elkington

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2017) Toyota is announcing the latest in a series of female-led appointments with Susan Elkington slated to take the helm of Toyota’s largest plant in the world, located in Georgetown, Ky., beginning in 2018.

As president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Elkington will oversee a $7 billion operation, which employs over 8,000 people, and in a year, can produce as many as 550,000 vehicles and more than 600,000 engines.

Toyota’s Kentucky plant was its first wholly-owned vehicle plant in the U.S., which began building Camrys in 1988. Today, the plant also manufactures the Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES 350, the only Lexus model produced in the U.S., as well as engines and engine components.

With Elkington’s appointment, by 2018, three Toyota plants in the U.S. will be led by women. Elkington will join Millie Marshall and Leah Curry, top leaders at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Inc. (TMMI) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia (TMMWV), respectively, who were both named presidents earlier this year.

A Huntingburg, Ind., native, and an engineer by trade, Elkington earned her mechanical engineering degree from the University of Evansville.

Elkington joined TMMK in January 2017 as senior vice president, overseeing the plant’s manufacturing and administrative functions. Prior to this role, she most recently served as general manager, Production Control Division at Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC) global headquarters in Toyota City, Japan. Elkington was the first woman to serve in this global production role, supporting Toyota’s 53 manufacturing plants worldwide.

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

She is a board member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, a STEP Ahead Honoree (2014) and ATHENA of Southwest Indiana Award Finalist (2013).

Elkington will succeed Wil James, plant president of Toyota Kentucky since 2010, who is retiring following a 30-year career with the automaker.

Toyota opened its now-8 million-s.f. operation in Georgetown nearly 30 years ago.