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Toyota Top Exec Urges Detroit to Have Faith

It is a known fact that Detroit's Big Three have been experiencing setbacks in recent years while the leading Asian brand Toyota is surging to the top. While that may be the case, the Toyota North America President Jim Press has expressed his opinion on the fate of the auto industry in general over the next few years. He said that while car manufacturers are experiencing hard times recently, technology and innovation will bring these car manufacturers back to profitability in the long run.

Jim Press recently became the first non-Japanese to be elected as a member of Toyota's board. The appointment of Press on Toyota's board came in the middle of the growing American hostility towards Toyota which is being blamed for the losses suffered by American car manufacturers.

While Press has earned the spot on Toyota's board, some auto industry experts think that the move is aimed to reduce the amount of hostility that the company has been receiving from Americans. Press is particularly paled a major role in the increasing success of the Japanese car manufacturer in the United States auto market.

Jim Press recently acknowledged that Detroit is still in a position to play a key role in auto production today and in the future as well. He pointed out that Detroit is still looked upon as the center of the development of "technological solutions" which he sees will play a major role in the success of the United States auto industry. He said that these technological advances will certainly address different issues confronting the auto industry such as the threat of global warming, safety of their consumers, and energy security which is one of President Bush's goals as reported in his State of the Union Address.

"What Detroit needs to do is to continue to have faith in itself," says Press. ""It isn't reinvention that is necessary. It's to go through the process of entering a global age. And that's going to give us some heartburn in the short term, but from a long-term perspective, we have a lifetime of success and prosperity," added Press. He made the statement at a luncheon where he was given the distinction of being the automotive executive of the year.

The contrast between Toyota and Detroit's Big Three has been increasing in the past few years. As General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler shuts down plants, reduce working hours and production, and cut down jobs, Toyota is enjoying success on their home turf. While American car manufacturers posted declining sales, Toyota, along with other Asian brands, have been increasing their hold and their share of the U.S. auto market.

Last year, Toyota posted their fifth straight year of increase in global auto sales. In fact, the Japanese outfit has overtaken Ford as the world's second largest car manufacturer. In the United States, Toyota now has the third biggest share of the auto market and could now be found almost at the heels of Ford. Auto industry experts are expecting Toyota to take over Ford's second place standing in the U.S. auto market.

Furthermore, there are predictions that Toyota will soon become the largest car manufacturer in the world. Some experts think that by next year, Toyota will be able to stake claim to the title of being the largest car manufacturer in the world. Although this seems likely to happen, Jim Press pointed out the present status of Chrysler which is on the auction block. After all, General Motors is rumored to be interested in buying the American auto giant. If that happens, Toyota will have a bigger mountain to climb to become the world's largest car manufacturer.

During the said speaking engagement, Jim Press said that Toyota is open to the idea of setting up an assembly plant in the state of Michigan. While Toyota has a technical center at Ann Arbor, they have yet to set up an assembly plant in the state known as the hotbed of American car manufacturers. In the near future though, the auto industry will surely see Toyota surging forward that not even an EBC redstuff brake pad can stop them at the moment.

About The Author Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive.buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.
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