Just days after it named its top North American executive Jim Press as the first non-Japanese to a seat on its board in Japan, Toyota has named the first American to head Calty Design Research, the North American arm of its global design network.

Kevin Hunter, vice president of design and studio operations, has been promoted to president of Calty, replacing Yo Hiruta. He is the first American to head the unit in its 34 years of operation in the United States and will oversee advanced and production design as well as research activities.

Hunter, 47, joined Calty in 1982, and graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.

Hiruta, previously Calty's president has been appointed to the new position of chief managing officer and primarily will advise and support the new president.