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Toyota's Press goes to Chrysler

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Toyota's Press goes to Chrysler

Former head of Toyota North America hired to be vice-chairman and president, sharing the titles with Tom LaSorda.

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com staff writer

September 6 2007: 9:50 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- James Press, the former head of Toyota's North American operations, has been hired by Chrysler. He will share the titles of Vice Chairman and President with former Chrysler chief executive Tom LaSorda.

"Tom LaSorda and I are thrilled that one of the most successful executives in the history of the auto industry has joined our leadership team at the New Chrysler," said Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli said in a prepared statement. "Our top team now consists of a world-class 'supply' leader in Tom and an equally world-class 'demand' leader in Jim."

Press had spent 37 years working his through the ranks at Toyota (Charts). After joining the company in 1970, he rose to the top job at the company's largest market, becoming president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor North America. He was the first non-Japanese to head that company and the first non-Japanese to sit on Toyota's board of directors.

During Press' time with Toyota, that company grew from a small importer of compact cars to the second-largest seller of passenger vehicles in America, just behind General Motors (Charts, Fortune 500).

Press will now be a member of the Chrysler board of directors and a member of the board of managers of Cerberus, the private equity group that recently bought Chrysler away from DaimlerChrysler.

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Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.

Considering where Toyta is now, Chrysler hiring one of their higher ups isn't a bad idea.

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Big loss for Toyota and an equally big gain for Chrysler. Interesting that Bob McCurry, who recently died and who was largely responsible for growing Toyota's business in the US in the 80s and 90s originally spent the first 20 or 30 years of his career at Chrysler. Now Press, who has spent the first 30+ years of his career at Toyota, is returning the favor. A sign of good times to come at Chrysler???

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:spit::dizzy:NO WAY!

This will be very interesting... :scratchchin:

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This gives some hope, I suppose.

Edited by empowah
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Ah, poor Tom, perhaps he is relieved though not to be in charge, but I can't see them sticking with two Presidents. How long before LaSorda is re-titled Vice President of Manufacturing?

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This is great news.....

Not just for the hiring.....

But it shows that Ceb. is willing to stand by Chrysler and is willing to kick start the brands....

This is not just a buy and sell thing....

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Maybe Jim Press left Toyota because he sees that problems were already starting to pile up at Toyota and knows that they will get worse. He also would probably be blamed is Toyota falters.

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Err, no, Jim Press left Toyota because he'd gotten a far as he was going to get up the ladder in a Japanese family company (Toyota scions are waiting in the wings to take over the company). At Chrysler he has an opportunity to run the whole damn show globally, eventually taking over from Nardelli. Jim Press as Chairman and CEO of Toyota Jidosha K.K.? Never Gonna Happen.

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I imagine Jim Press left Toyota because....what more did he have to accomplish there? With Chrysler, he gets to be part of a ground-up rebuild.

Great move on Chrysler's part.

Edit: Oh well Griff beat me to the point by a minute. :P

Edited by Chris_Doane
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I was thinking the same thing as Griff. Toyota would never let an American become CEO, so he really had nowhere else to go up in the ranks. If he does good things at Chrysler (Mulally with Ford too), they will earn their place in automotive history books. Execs at that stage of their life are looking for more of a challenge, and the attempt to revive an ailing automaker is a more noble cause than sitting 2nd rank as president of NA operations.

As much as Press's little one sentence commentary always annoyed me at each sales monthly sales release, I'm excited to see what he will do at Chrysler. Toyota lost a valuable guy.

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I was thinking the same thing as Griff. Toyota would never let an American become CEO, so he really had nowhere else to go up in the ranks. If he does good things at Chrysler (Mulally with Ford too), they will earn their place in automotive history books. Execs at that stage of their life are looking for more of a challenge, and the attempt to revive an ailing automaker is a more noble cause than sitting 2nd rank as president of NA operations.

As much as Press's little one sentence commentary always annoyed me at each sales monthly sales release, I'm excited to see what he will do at Chrysler. Toyota lost a valuable guy.

:withstupid:
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WOW! This is great news for Chrysler and should be a morale booster for all their workers. Who would of thought Toyota's MVP would jump ship to a U.S. automaker.

P.S. this topic should of been front page news today. I just found out about it from one of those ''other" sites.

Edited by I hope GMRULES again
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WOW! This is great news for Chrysler and should be a morale booster for all their workers. Who would of thought Toyota's MVP would jump ship to a U.S. automaker.

P.S. this topic should of been front page news today. I just found out about it from one of those ''other" sites.

Nah...they'd rather push GM's sales-figure Kool-aid. (Besides, it would indicate begrudging respect for the Toyota juggernaut..NGH here.)

This is like LaDanian Tomlinson being signed as a free agent to your football team. Huge, aggressive and smart rebound move after parting ways with Wolfgang. Puts Chrysler back in the game, almost instantly, in some respects.

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P.S. this topic should of been front page news today. I just found out about it from one of those ''other" sites.

I apologize and yes, I realize the Competition Hot Topics don't get updated as quickly as they should. I'll try to get it up there quicker. Notwithstanding...

Nah...they'd rather push GM's sales-figure Kool-aid. (Besides, it would indicate begrudging respect for the Toyota juggernaut..NGH here.)

You really expecting this news to be front-and-center headliner here?

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I wonder if Chrysler will start running fake adds of a Ram pulling a cargo box up a cliff. Some people really buy that stuff, more so than how good rebates are on US vehicles.

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I think that this is a good sign. It shows that Cerberus is serious about shaking things up at Chrysler LLC. I hope they can turn around the mess that Daimler made of this once great American car corporation. I am hoping to see great things from Chrysler LLC once the dust settles and the new regime has time to implement some changes.

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when did press leave toyota? OMG i am sssooooo behind.

does this mean we'll see DECENT chrysler interiors anytime ever?

or simply that press will PRESS them to implement the TPS system in those chinese factories?

only the TPS reports will let us know.

Edited by regfootball
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when did press leave toyota? OMG i am sssooooo behind.

does this mean we'll see DECENT chrysler interiors anytime ever?

or simply that press will PRESS them to implement the TPS system in those chinese factories?

only the TPS reports will let us know.

It probably doesn't mean any of that. From what I have read, Press is a master salesman who knows how to have good relations with dealers. He still has to sell the same junk Chrysler has now.
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Err, no, Jim Press left Toyota because he'd gotten a far as he was going to get up the ladder in a Japanese family company (Toyota scions are waiting in the wings to take over the company). At Chrysler he has an opportunity to run the whole damn show globally, eventually taking over from Nardelli. Jim Press as Chairman and CEO of Toyota Jidosha K.K.? Never Gonna Happen.

Yeah I imagine this factored in, but something tells me there's a boatload of money involved too.

And what the hell, the Japanese don't believe in non-compete agreements...I bet they do now.

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but something tells me there's a boatload of money involved too.

Jim Press already has more money than he'll even know what to do with.
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Edmunds Auto Observer had an interesting piece on this too. Article

I'm curious what Toyota will do next. Press has been the American face of Toyota for a while now. Certainly shows Chrysler is serious!

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It probably doesn't mean any of that. From what I have read, Press is a master salesman who knows how to have good relations with dealers. He still has to sell the same junk Chrysler has now.

Always at least one Chrysler bashing per thread. :rolleyes:

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Dodgefan, it's not about bashing Chrysler. Chrysler has a terrible relationship with its dealers. If Cerberus is going to move forward, one of the first things they have to do is regain the confidence of the guys/gals whose money are on the line every day. If Press is able to mend those fences, he will be worth his weight in Gold.

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