Chrysler taps Press

James Press, a veteran top Toyota executive who helped renew its interest in the U.S. pickup market, is joining Chrysler LLC as vice chairman & president.

James Press, a veteran top Toyota executive who helped renew its interest in the U.S. pickup market, is joining Chrysler LLC as vice chairman & president.

Formerly president & COO of Toyota Motors North America and the first non-Japanese executive tapped to join the board of directors of Toyota Motor Corp., at Chrysler Press will be responsible for North American sales, international sales, global marketing, product strategy, plus service and parts activities.

Press will hold the same rank as long-time Chrysler executive Thomas LaSorda, vice chairman & president of manufacturing, procurement and supply, employee relations & global business development and alliances. Both will report directly to Robert Nardelli, Chrysler chairman &d CEO.

Press joins Chrysler after 37 years with Toyota and also becomes a member of the Chrysler’s board of directors and will be on the board of private equity firm Cerberus Operations and Advisory Co. LLC, which acquired Chrysler from Germany’s Daimler earlier this year.

“Part of my new responsibilities will be strengthening and energizing the dealer body,” said Press. “This is something I was passionate about at Toyota and will be passionate about at Chrysler.”

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