David Hermance, executive engineer for environment engineering at the Toyota Technical Center USA in California, was a key figure behind the success of Toyota’s popular Prius hybrid cars… died in a plane crash.
“When that car came out, no one knew what it was,” said Bill Reinert, a Toyota national manager. “Dave dedicated his life to championing this technology. He was the American father of the Prius.”
“He made the Prius something that worked for the American market,” said Roland Hwang, vehicles policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “When people think of hybrid systems, they think of Toyota, and that is due in good part to Dave’s work.”