Toyota on Thursday named top US executive James (Jim) Press as the first non-Japanese national to be appointed to its nine-member company board of directors.


Press, who was the first US national to be named to his current post of president, Toyota Motor North America, based in New York, was also promoted to senior managing director from managing officer, according to a statement from Toyota’s headquarters in Japan.


Toyota Motor Corporation also named eight Japanese newly appointed to the board of directors.


The new appointments are subject to shareholder approval in June, TMC’s statement said.


Toyota Motor North America is the holding company for Toyota’s North American sales, engineering and manufacturing operating units.


Press is responsible for enhancing the coordination, speed and productivity of Toyota’s North American business operations. Established in 1996, TMA is headquartered in New York City, with branch offices in Washington, DC and Miami, Florida.


Press previously was president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales USA in Torrance, California, where he had overall responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution for Toyota, Scion and Lexus products in the United Sates. He was also the first American president of TMS. He joined TMS in 1970.