WARRENDALE, Pa. — James Press, vice chairman and president of Chrysler LLC, is the recipient of this year’s SAE Foundation Manufacturing Leadership Award. The award will be presented to Press at the 2009 SAE Foundation Banquet in Detroit on May 28.
The Manufacturing Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the development of the automotive industry. Nominees must have achieved a significant level of success in their manufacturing careers, demonstrated innovation and risk taking and established a new direction or developed a position that challenged the industry. Commitment to the community through educational, philanthropic or government activities also is required.
Press joined Chrysler LLC as vice chairman and president in September 2007. He serves in the office of the chairman and on the board of managers. At Chrysler, he is responsible for North American sales, international sales, global marketing, product strategy and service and parts.
Prior to joining Chrysler, Press was president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motors North America and a senior managing director of the parent company, Toyota Motor Corp. He joined Toyota in 1970.
Currently, Press serves as the chairman of the board of Automotive Youth Educational Systems and on the board of directors for the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, as well as the Detroit Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Press also is a member of the advisory board for his alma mater (Pittsburg State University) and the Switzer Center School in Torrance, Calif.
In addition, Press is on the board of trustees for the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and the Chadwick School in Rolling Hills, Calif.
Press was the first international automotive executive elected to chair the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and served as chairman for a time during 2006. He has received the "Distinguished Service Citation Award" from the Automotive Hall of Fame.