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. The 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.” The award was originally created by Automotive Industries magazine in 1964 to recognize leadership in the automotive industry.