David W. Hermance
Toyota's top North American engineer for advanced technology vehicles, died while performing aerobatic maneuvers in his plane off the coast of San Pedro, CA. A resident of Huntington Beach, CA., he was 59.An eloquent spokesperson, Hermance championed the virtues of hybrid technology before scientists, regulators, environmentalists, legislators and consumers. With a knack for explaining complex hybrid and advanced technology, Hermance served as Toyota's hybrid engineering ambassador in the U.S.Dave Hermance was a gifted engineer and was highly respected by his peers in the automotive industry," expressed Yasuhiko Ichihashi, president of Toyota Technical Center, USA. "Dave's strong communication skills were instrumental in educating the public on Toyota's hybrid technology. He possessed unique skills which cannot be replaced.Hermance's successful careers at General Motors and Toyota spanned four decades. Hermance spent the first 26 years of his long automotive career with General Motors where he led Durability Test Development and served in a variety of roles in the Vehicle Emissions Laboratory.In 1991, Hermance joined Toyota Technical Center U.S.A. in the Gardena, CA. facility as Senior Manager in Engine Evaluation with responsibility for evaluating North American passenger car engines. In 1992, Hermance was promoted to General Manager of the Powertrain Department where he was responsible for the development of engine and drivetrain calibrations for the North American market. He went on to become the Executive Engineer for Advanced Technology Vehicles and oversaw advanced technology communicationfor the North American market and regulatory activities in California. Up until his death, Hermance worked tirelessly to promote hybrid and advanced technology vehicles in the U.S.Within the industry, he was widely recognized as the most authoritative voice on hybrid power vehicles in the U.S. Hermance was instrumental in making hybrid technology appealing to mainstream consumers, in addition to environmentally aware car buyers. He was well-respected by industry analysts and environmentalists for his efforts to further advanced technology vehicles.We had a great deal of interaction with Dave over the years and found him to be a truly outstanding individual," said Dave Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit organization which focuses on trends and changes related to the automobile industry. "He possessed deep knowledge, was highly articulate and a pleasure to work with in every respect. On top of his professional attributes he was a terrific human being. He will be missed by all.Among his many automotive accomplishments, Hermance may be best remembered for being the key person promoting the benefits of hybrid technology for consumers in the U.S. market. Hermance dedicated his life to championing advanced technology vehicles and will be remembered fondly for his contribution to Toyota, General Motors, and the environment. Hermance earned a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the General Motors Institute. He served as a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Hermance was an avid pilot who enjoyed aerobatic flying. With his flight instructor father, Hermance began learning to fly at 14, soloing at age 16, and earning his private pilot's license during college.Born in Danville, IN, on September 27, 1947, Hermance is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mary; two children, Keith Hermance (Lindsay Hermance) of Mission Viejo, CA and Kathy Bougher (Jeremy Bougher) of Lebanon, IN, grandson Colin Bougher and sister Bonnie Riley.The family requests that expressions of sympathy be sent to the Hermance family in care of Toyota at: Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing, North America, 1630 West 186th St., Gardena, CA 90248.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The American Diabetes Association Research Foundation in the name of Dave Hermance at: Attn: Maria Price, 1701 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311.Information obtained from the PRNews"