LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Toyota veteran Susan Elkington will become the manager of the company's Georgetown, Ky. plant -- its largest auto manufacturing factory in the world, the company said in a news release Friday.

Elkington will succeed Wil James as president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., or TMMK, a $7 billion-per-year operation that employs more than 8,000 and can churn out more than 550,000 vehicles annually.

James, who has led the plant since 2010, will retire in 2018 after more than 30 years with the company, Toyota said.

Toyota touted that Elkington is the third woman the company has named to lead a U.S. plant. Millie Marshall and Leah Curry were named presidents of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc. (TMMI) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV), earlier this year.

The Georgetown plant, established in 1988, produces Toyota's best-selling Camry as well as the Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES 350, as well as engines and engine components.

Elkington became senior vice president at the plant in January. She joined Toyota in 1998 as an assembly engineering specialist in Princeton, Ind.

She is a native of Huntingburg, Ind., with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Evansville.

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