Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Former exec: Toyota was 'hijacked'

by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior write


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Jim Press, the former head of Toyota's U.S. operations and the only non-Japanese ever to sit on the automaker's board of directors, released a statement today blaming the company's troubles on "financially oriented pirates" who "hijacked" the company some years ago.

Press worked at Toyota from 1970 until 2007 when he he went to work at Chrysler, which was then struggling to turn around after splitting off from Daimler.

james_press.03.jpg
Jim Press

In the statement, obtained from the Detroit Free Press, Press expresses confidence in Toyota's current president and CEO Akio Toyoda, who testified Wednesday before a Congressional panel investigating Toyota's recent safety problems.

"Akio Toyoda is not only up for the job, but he is the only person who can save Toyota," Press said "He is very capable, and he embodies the virtues and character that built this great company."

"Toyota doesn't want me to speak out, but I can't stand it anymore and somebody has to tell it like it is," Press said in the written statement. "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."

Toyota employees must stand together behind Toyoda, Press said, to pull the company through its current troubles.

Press left Chrysler quietly late last year, as the company restructured, following bankruptcy, in a partnership with Italy's Fiat.

Toyota spokespeople were not immediately able to respond to a request for comment on the statement. To top of page

Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,400.75 -610.32 -3.39%
Nasdaq 4,707.98 -202.06 -4.12%
S&P 500 2,037.41 -75.91 -3.59%
Treasuries 1.58 -0.16 -9.20%
Data as of 12:11pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 13.00 -1.04 -7.41%
Microsoft Corp 49.83 -2.08 -4.01%
Ford Motor Co 12.52 -0.88 -6.57%
General Electric Co 29.82 -1.37 -4.39%
Micron Technology In... 13.21 -0.84 -5.98%
Data as of Jun 24
Sponsors

Sections

Barnes and Noble announced plans to start selling alcohol in some of its stores. And shares of the bookstore chain rallied on the news while the rest of the market was down on Brexit fears. More

The U.K. voted to leave the European Union on Thursday. The vote could affect Americans in a litany of ways. More

Startup Spark examined the effects that political candidates had on the human brain and nervous system using a device called BrainWave. Here's what it found. More