A Japan-based engineer with senior management experience in the U.S. has been named President of Aisin Seiki's Plymouth, MI-based tech center. Yoshiaki "Yoshi" Kato assumed the post at Aisin Technical Center of America (ATC-A) on April 1 after serving as Senior Managing Officer of the company's R&D sector in Japan. Before coming to Aisin, he'd spent more than 25 years in a variety of engineering and product development positions with Toyota, including several years in senior management at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, MI. Kato, who earned a bachelor of science degree in electronics engineering from Nagoya Kogyo University, replaces Takashi "Jay" Aoyama, who remains with ATC-A as Senior Technical Advisor. In addition to engineering and design capabilities, ATC-A has lab facilities that allow various evaluation tests and procedures to ensure the quality of its products. Kato also is responsible for FT Techno of America, a 950-acre (384-ha) test track and proving ground in Fowlerville, MI. The facility supports vehicle performance evaluations for major OEMs, suppliers, and government and academic institutions. Aisin is a Tier 1 supplier of automotive components such as brakes, transmissions, drivetrain, chassis, body, information-related navigation systems, and engine-related parts. Worldwide, Aisin has 180 consolidated companies and employs 80,000 people (13,000 in North America).