Toyota’s Press to GM: Don’t read the papers

January 9, 2007

Toyota Motor North American chief Jim Press (pictured left) had simple advice for U.S. rival General Motors: don’t get hung up on what the media is writing about you.

“Don’t read the newspapers. You’re doing fine. Just keep doing what you’re doing,” he said to analysts at an event in conjunction with the Detroit auto show.

Press, responding to a question about what advice he had for GM, said he didn’t presume to tell the U.S. automaker what to do. Toyota is expected to pass GM as the world’s largest automaker this year.

“The last thing I could do is give advice to General Motors,” he added. “I seek advice from General Motors, to be honest with you because they’re going through a period of time when they’re making very tough decisions.”

A year ago, talk of bankruptcy was swirling around GM, which faced slumping sales, shareholder pressure and numerous newspaper stories about all the bad news it faced. However in 2006, the U.S. automaker silenced critics by cutting more than 34,000 jobs, unveiling plans to close 12 plants and reduce recurring costs by $9 billion.

At the show, GM talked about further cutting costs, swept the 2007 North American Car and Truck awards (award winner Chevrolet Silverado pickup pictured left), and unveiled its Volt electric concept car it intends to make in the future. Reuters has complete coverage of the show.




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