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Toyota’s Jim Press Named 2007 Automotive Industry Executive of the Year

The 2007 Automotive Industry Executive of the Year award will be presented to Jim Press, president of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA), at an invitation-only luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) on April 17th. This is the first time in the award’s 43-year history that a Toyota executive is receiving the honor. Approximately 225 automotive OEM executives and supplier leaders will attend the event.

This award has recognized excellence in automotive leadership from OEM executives since 1964. Past winners include Bill Ford, Jr., Dieter Zetsche, Rick Wagoner, Henry Ford II, Robert Eaton, Thomas Stallkamp, Roger Smith, Harold E. Poling, Lee Iacocca and John DeLorean.

The award is presented by DNV Certification and sponsored by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG). The Automotive Industry Executive of the Year award nominating committee is composed of automotive industry media, various industry analysts and automotive supplier CEOs.

In addition to serving as president of Toyota Motor North America, Inc., the holding company for Toyota’s North American sales, engineering and manufacturing operating units, Press is also a managing officer and serves in a global advisory capacity for the Japan-based parent company Toyota Motor Corporation.

Press is the first American president of TMA and is responsible for enhancing the coordination, speed and productivity of Toyota’s North American business operations. Established in 1996, TMA is headquartered in New York City, with branch offices in Washington, D.C. and Miami.

Jim Press is one of the most respected and recognizable individuals among today’s automotive industry leadership. Press was previously president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS), where he had overall responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution for Toyota, Scion and Lexus products in the United States. Press was also the first American president of TMS.

“The Automotive Industry Executive of the Year award nominating committee recognizes the insight and determination Jim Press has shown in leading Toyota to success in a challenging market,” said Robert Djurovic, DNV Certification’s director of automotive services-North America, and chairman of the nominating committee. “Toyota’s mission to give customers the products they want at great value and with excellent quality sounds simple enough, but no individual has executed that philosophy as successfully as Jim Press during his leadership of Toyota Motor North America.”

“AIAG is proud to sponsor this event for the second consecutive year,” said J. Scot Sharland, executive director of AIAG. “The Automotive Industry Executive of the Year award program is a wonderful opportunity to recognize and celebrate the vision, inspiration and leadership provided by these true captains of industry.”

The March/April issue of AIAG’s Actionline magazine will feature an exclusive in-depth interview with Jim Press. Since 1982, Actionline has been the voice of the North American automotive supply chain, delivering comprehensive information and analysis with unique perspectives on all aspects of the auto industry. Featuring authors and columnists who are experts in their fields, Actionline is a valuable resource for OEMs, suppliers, solution providers, academic and government.

About the Automotive Industry Executive of the Year Award

The award was originally created by Automotive Industries magazine in 1964 to recognize leadership in the automotive industry. When the magazine was sold in 2005, DNV Certification, the main corporate sponsor of the award for many years, acquired all rights to the award program in an effort to maintain its 43 years of tradition. This is the second year AIAG has been a sponsor. The award has been presented annually at a private, invitation-only luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) since its inception..

About DNV Certification

Established in 1864, DNV is an autonomous foundation with 300 offices in more than 100 countries. DNV Certification is a world leader in management system certification to TS 16949, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and other national and international standards. Other services include training, CE Mark and product certification. Additional information is available at or

About AIAG

Founded in 1982, AIAG is a globally recognized organization where OEMs and suppliers unite to address and resolve issues affecting the worldwide automotive supply chain. AIAG’s goals are to reduce cost and complexity through collaboration; improve product quality, health, safety and the environment; and optimize speed to market throughout the supply chain. Headquartered in the metro-Detroit area, its more than 1,500 member companies include North American, European and Asia-Pacific OEMs and suppliers to the automotive industry. Additional information is available on the Internet at

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