• Aug 21, 2009
According to The Wall Street Journal Jim Press, the Chrysler Group LLC Deputy Chief Executive and sole surviving member of pre-bailout/bankruptcy Chrysler will be resigning his post by the end of November. The WSJ quotes three anonymous people close to the plan. When reached for comment, Press only stated, "I don't think anything has been released about management changes." If true, Press's departure will leave Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne without any former-Chrysler advisers -- which may not be such a bad thing considering recent offerings like the Sebring, Journey and Caliber.
Still, one has to question the wisdom of losing a salty North American market insider like Jim Press, who spent 37 years at Toyota. Especially since Press was in the trenches when the Japanese automaker went from screwball import in the Sixties to the largest automaker in the world just a few decades later – a trick that Fiat would no doubt like to emulate.

Press was hired by Chrysler's former masters, Cerberus Capital Management LP, in 2007. His ToMoCo experience was supposed to help right Chrysler's boat, but it had too many holes in the hull from the apparent abuses inflicted by former "equal" Daimler. After a year on the job, Press found Chrysler on the brink of bankruptcy, and a few months later, they went under. If this report is true, it will be a sad chapter in an otherwise stellar career. Stay tuned.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Press deserves better than that. He wasn't there when those cars were in development. They were released as he joined the team. Plus the Journey isn't that bad, at least not compaired to the Sebring and Caliber. If anything you can appreciate him getting the Compass an updated, not so crappy interior. And it appear the 2010 Caliber will also get a refreshed interior. Plus there is the new 300C and Charger he has been working on behind closed doors. You shouldn't judge his offerings until they've been released.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey now, I liked the Journey :(
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's sad to see such a WEALTHY, and LOADED businessman leave such a ONCE great company!!! :(


        psh!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you recall, Jim Press said a while back that he wished that Chrysler had called him at least two years before they did. An acknowledgement of just how damaged the Pentastar was and is. Press had a good career and I'm sure he isn't hurting for tee up money. That said, it is the employees of Chrysler who for the past several years have been whipsawed by Daimler and Cerberus and a revolving door of almost always-the-wrong-guy CEOs. And, if you know you're history, triumvirates never work. i.e. Nardelli, Press, LaSorda. If you go to the Allpar site, read an anonymous blog by a current Tech Center employee who is so exhausted and demoralized that the doesn't know if he can go through another "campaign" to save Chrysler. Even if Marchione is a "take-charge" guy, he still has looking over his shoulder an administration that thinks the 500 (and I kind of like it) is a "family car." It ain't and despite all the "social revolutions", families -- and small businesses -- are still where the money is. That means minivans, trucks, mid-sized sedans, 4-dr Jeeps that go farther than 40 miles on a charge at significantly less than 40 thousand dollars. The Dodge Lotus ain't gonna do it. Lutz said that "every model has to count." He was and is right. Everything else is a distraction and an intrusion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Jim Press hates customers, so why should we feel sorry for Toyota's ex-genius.

      At the 2002 NADA convention (the one they moved to accommodate the post-9/11 Super Bowl in New Orleans), Press declared that there were three things "assaulting" the auto industry: safety activism/legislation, "empowered" customers and over capacity.

      In other words, he meant governments forcing the industry to make safer cars, customers entering dealerships knowing more than the typical idiotic salesman and a self-inflicted industry problem that hurts even worse in 2009.

      No, I think Jim Press was not a genius but simply in the right place at the right time. He is no friend to the car-buying public, that's for sure.
        • 5 Years Ago
        On this, Press is right.
        - Customers can have any car bought back by a corporation if they know how to complain. The car does not need to be defective.
        -Legislation adds a very important cost to a car. You and I pay for this aberration. My father passed away at 86 without any of this nonsense
        - Right again with capacity: the next victims will be companies with heavy debt load and forced to give away heavy incentives. Leasing is the most expensive one and allows customers to drive cars they could not afford otherwise. Mercedes is not a success symbol anymore.

        Press did a very bad move with Chrysler. Toyota made Press, not the opposite.
      • 5 Years Ago
      welcome to my blog:under the same blue sky(http://blog.12306.com)
      • 5 Years Ago
      While he may have spent 37 years at Toyota, they weren't exactly crying when their Tundra Daddy left.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thank god he's going to be out. This is a step in the right direction for Chrysler. Maybe one day they'll give a damn about what customers think again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This report was written by someone that actually knows

      http://www.ontariostreetcar.com/2009/08/21/jim-press-to-leave-chrysler/
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