Toyota: Jim Press Is A Liar
Chrysler VP (and 37-year Toyota veteran) Jim Press ruffled some feathers at old mother Toyota yesterday when he claimed that the Japanese government had footed "100 percent of the bill" for the development of the Prius powertrain. ToMoCo didn't waste a second refuting the allegation of its former head of North American operations. "I can say 100 percent that Toyota received absolutely no support – no money, no grants – from the Japanese government for the development of the Prius," Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco tells the AP. The story also notes that while the Japanese government often assists private development projects, particularly for clean energy projects, the collaboration is not typically hidden from sight. That Press' allegation is the first whisper of any public-private cooperation in the development of the Prius could be an indication that he might not be working with all the facts. The irony of all this is that if our own government's massive public-private green car initiative of the nineties, the Project for a New Generation of Vehicles, had produced the Prius, every politician in America would be falling all over themselves trying to claim credit.