Renault-Nissan has confirmed this week that Jim Press, formerly the vice chairman and president for Chrysler and president of Toyota North America, will be hired as a consultant for the French-Japanese duo’s global sales and marketing. We don’t normally report on executive shuffles within the auto industry but Renault-Nissan snagging Jim Press is a major coup, especially for an automaker looking to strengthen its position in the lucrative U.S. market.
Press was very successful at Toyota, becoming the first non-Japanese executive to be inducted to the auto giant’s board of directors after showing impressive results in the U.S. new car market. And while his performance at Chrysler isn’t as notable, he did manage to keep the struggling automaker on its feet during the recent bankruptcy and eventual sale to Fiat.
The 63-year old executive has already been working for Renault-Nissan for the past four months, according to company spokesman Simon Sproule who spoke recently with Bloomberg.
“He's visited with our dealers in the States, Europe and Japan and has already begun providing substantial input,” Sproule revealed.
This is a crucial move for Renault-Nissan, which in the past has been looking to form an alliance with several U.S. automakers. Press’ in-depth knowledge of the U.S. market should help Renault-Nissan with any expansion plans it may have, including the possible re-launch of the Renault brand locally.