Jim Press Phones Home

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

It’s not likely that former Toyota exec Jim Press wishes he had been called down to congress instead of Jim Lentz, but he may just be trying to angle for a return his old company. Press took time out of his busy schedule of job-hunting and worrying about taxes to write an (apparently unsolicited) email to Automotive News [sub]. Judging by the portions that AN [sub] did publish, it should probably have gone straight to Toyota’s CEO… or the shredder.

Toyota doesn’t want me to speak out, but I can’t stand it anymore and somebody has to tell it like it is. Akio Toyoda is not only up for the job, but he is the only person who can save Toyota. He is very capable, and he embodies the virtues and character that built this great company. The root cause of their problems is that the company was hijacked, some years ago, by anti-family, financially oriented pirates. They didn’t have the character necessary to maintain a customer first focus. Akio does.

As much as Akio appreciates a few kind words right now, Press’s mash note is a little tough to fathom. It’s hard to imagine anyone at Toyota thinking that Press would have been a better representative of Toyota’s US operations than Jim Lentz was. Especially considering Press pretty well torched his bridges back to Toyota, when as a bailout-begging Chrysler VP, he alleged that the Japanese government had footed “100 percent of the bill” for the Prius’s drivetrain development, a charge Toyota has vehemently denied and Press later retracted. But hey, there’s a fine line between love and desperation… and Toyoda seems like he could use a hug.

Join the conversation
  • CarPerson CarPerson on Feb 25, 2010

    Press probably knows where more bodies are buried than Lentz.

  • Michael Karesh Michael Karesh on Feb 25, 2010

    Maybe the reason Press couldn't keep up with his taxes and mortgage is that he's not an anti-family, financially oriented pirate?

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Feb 25, 2010

    Arggh! It's talk like a pirate day! Hey Press, hit the pool! 200 laps for you.

  • Rocketrodeo Rocketrodeo on Feb 25, 2010

    I wasn't aware that Toyota is in the position of needing saving. I do think this is an opportunity for Toyota to (continue to) put a human face on what has heretofore been a rather faceless corporation. By all accounts, Toyoda is a real car guy. He was probably the one person in the hearing room yesterday who had a clue as to what is really going on, both with the UA flap and whether it's a real safety issue.