• Jan 23, 2007
Jim Press, the president of Toyota Motor North America (TMA), has been announced as the recipient of this year's 2007 Automotive Industry Executive of the Year award, which surprisingly marks the first time (though probably not the last) that a Toyota exec has earned the honor. You may remember last year's recipient was Bill Ford, Jr., who technically no longer holds the position as Ford Motor Company's reigning auto exec. Press, however, is at the reigns of Toyota's North American division, which finished up last year with double-digit sales growth. Many analysts are placing their bets that 2007 will be the year that Toyota sells more vehicles in the U.S. world than General Motors, which seems entirely likely considering that GM is scaling back production while Toyota is revving up. 2007 also marks the year that Toyota will go head-to-head with its domestic competitors in the full-size pickup segment with the new Tundra pickup (show above with Press). Press also stands out for being the first non-Japanese president of TMA, and few can argue he's done an outstanding job so far. The question remains whether he can keep his ship intact as Toyota's business in the U.S. market scales ever upward. Clearly the automaker's reputation for quality has begun to crack with recalls and service issues beginning to grow in number. Nevertheless, Press will receive his award in April at a fancy shindig in Detroit attended by other OEM execs and industry leaders. Congrats, Jim!

[Source: PR Newswire]

UPDATE: This post has been correctly attributed to John Neff, who wrote the post near the end of a long day. The errors that were present have been corrected.


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  • 21 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Congratulations Jim.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford had the 4.2 in the '04 freestar (as an option)
      but torque isn't power, and 4 speed automatics don't help.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #6 (Chris): "There is absolutely no reason why any American should buy a Toyota over superior vehicles from domestic automakers... an avowed enemy sell their inferior goods... Cracking ball joints, sludging engines, underhanded service 'bulletins'... Even Toyota's reputation for reliability is in question..."

      Once again, a domestic apologist comes to criticize Toyota's recall rate, and turns a blind eye to facts that have been well documented by Autoblog and elsewhere. Here are the facts on reliability for 2006:

      Honda: 1.5 million US sales, 1.4 thousand US recalls (excludes owner's manual typo), 0.093% recall rate
      Toyota: 2.5 million US sales, 0.81 million US recalls, 32% recall rate
      GM: 4.1 million US sales, 1.4 million US recalls, 34% recall rate
      Ford: 2.9 million US sales, 1.7 million US recalls, 58% recall rate
      DaimlerChrysler: 2.4 million US sales, 2.3 million US recalls, 96% recall rate
      Nissan: 1.0 million US sales, 1.3 million US recalls, 130% recall rate

      It is easy to see that GM (domestic company with best record) and Toyota had virtually identical recall rates. If you claim Toyota has poor reliability, just what does it say about GM and the other domestics?

      #6 (Chris): "Who do you trust to have your best interests at heart? Not some unrepentant Japanese zaibatsu that committed war crimes."
      And not some overpaid American CEO who pissed away company money on personal trips on the corporate jet, until exposed by the mainstream media. Nor the UAW, which leeches away American competitiveness at the tune of $67 an hour for each union member.

      #6 (Chris): "Give domestic automakers their long overdue chance -- you owe it to yourself and to your country."
      We owe nothing to nobody to *give* domestic automakers a chance. The domestic automakers owe it to us to *earn* that chance from us. GM has done that with a recall rate that rivals Toyota's. Now it is up to Ford to step up.

      Sources:
      http://www.autoblog.com/2007/01/19/surprise-recalls-fall-in-2006/1#c3182630
      http://www.autoblog.com/2007/01/19/surprise-recalls-fall-in-2006/1#c3183241
      http://faq.autoblog.com/2007/01/18/fields-gives-up-his-flying-perks/
      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/23/business/23auto.html?ex=1300770000&en=57ea081b0a798618&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
      • 8 Years Ago
      There is absolutely no reason why any American should buy a Toyota over superior vehicles from domestic automakers. Toyotas have always enjoyed unwarranted good press from the mainstream media. Jim Press is a traitor to America for helping an avowed enemy sell their inferior goods at the cost of American jobs and lives. Cracking ball joints, sludging engines, underhanded service "bulletins", are not the dreams that appliances are made of. Even Toyota's reputation for reliability is in question, which should give pause for even the most ardent of Toyota apologists to arrive at their rescue. If anything, Toyota is being revealed for what it always was: a fraud that was never anything of value. Who do you trust to have your best interests at heart? Not some unrepentant Japanese zaibatsu that committed war crimes. Give domestic automakers their long overdue chance -- you owe it to yourself and to your country.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #15, #4 also left out that the Japanese-designed and engineered Fusion is built in Mexico. How very American.
      Come on people, there's many good facts to be made supporting your arguments but saying idiotic things makes you sound, well, idiotic.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Many analysts are placing their bets that 2007 will be the year that Toyota sells more vehicles in the U.S. than General Motors"

      This statement can't be correct. Toyota Motor Corp sold only 2.54 mil in the U.S. last year while GM sold 4.12 mil. I think you need to replace "U.S." with "world".
      • 8 Years Ago
      #21 (porker): "a traitor who runs a foreign company."

      It's all too easy to scapegoat outside "traitors", when inside the domestic companies, there are plenty of real traitors to go around. As I had previously written, the real traitors include an "overpaid American [executive] who pissed away company money on personal trips on the corporate jet, until exposed by the mainstream media... [and] the UAW, which leeches away American competitiveness at the tune of $67 an hour for each union member."

      Sources:
      http://faq.autoblog.com/2007/01/18/fields-gives-up-his-flying-perks/
      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/23/business/23auto.html?ex=1300770000&en=57ea081b0a798618&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
      • 8 Years Ago
      #6
      That was one of the most ignorant comments I have heard in a while... Toyota costing American jobs and lives, thats why Toyota has created over 400,000 jobs in the past 5 years. By the way, Texas is a minority state and you can guess what kind of cars they are going to buy. California is minority also and why do think Toyota has the number 1 market share in that state...
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Crown Vic is made in Canada.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13 GREAT POST

      • 8 Years Ago
      I gave the domestic a chance.
      bought a 1999 ford focus. had 17 recalls when i owend it, so i got rid of it in 2001. Got sick of all the recalls. The damn media is so biased. car and driver kept saying its 10 best, when it was number 1 in recalls for 1999,2000, and 2001.

      But being american i wanted to give my country another chance.

      Bought a 2004 Ford freestar with the largest engine in the minivan world, the 3.9

      It was gutless. had five recalls because ford had bored out the 3.8 to make 3.9 and the sealing was not right. It smoked all the time.

      sold it.

      Bought focus for 14000 sold for 5000 in 2 years

      bought freestar for 29000 sold for 14000 in 2 years

      Now I drive Honda Odyssey. screw the domestics.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Be American
      Buy American (Pt Cruiser, Fusion, Crown Vic...)
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