Toyota Motor Manufacturing's Texas President Hidehiko "T.J." Tajima is leaving the Lone Star state for Japan to begin his new role running Toyota's corporate social responsibility activities. Tojima's job over the past few years was to oversee the production of the new San Antonio Tundra plant, which had some serious cash overrun problems. Initial costs were projected at $850 million for the 200,000 unit capacity plant, but final costs were $1.28 billion. Production issues also reared their ugly head during Tajima's reign, with the timing of Toyota's new 5.7L V8 not aligning with the start of Tundra production.
Company officials say that the ballooning costs of the Tundra plant had nothing to do with Tojima's move back to Japan, but we think it will be tough for Tojima to drop an unscheduled $500 million in his new role.
[Source: Automotive News (subscription req'd)]