NEW YORK- Toyota is installing new leadership at five of its manufacturing plants in North America and replacing two Japanese executives with Americans, saying the moves will improve efficiency.

The moves come as Toyota Motor Corp. fights to boost its quality and image after widespread safety recalls of cars and trucks.

Two Americans replace Japanese executives at plants. Norm Bafunno (ba-FOO-no) becomes president of Toyota's vehicle assembly in Princeton, Ind. Chris Nielsen takes over as president of the company's plant in San Antonio, Texas.

Toyota is promoting Ontario plant president Ray Tanguay (TAN-gay) to chairman. Steve St. Angelo becomes chairman of plants in Kentucky and Mississippi.