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Chrysler Vice Chairman and President to Receive SAE Foundation Manufacturing Leadership Award

WARRENDALE, Pa., Feb. 24, 2009 - James Press, Vice Chairman and President, Chrysler LLC, is the recipient of the SAE Foundation Manufacturing Leadership Award.  The award will be presented to Press at the 2009 SAE Foundation Banquet in Detroit on May 28.

The 2009 SAE Foundation Banquet Leadership Committee Chairman is Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President, Product Development, Chrysler LLC:

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 Corporation.

Press’s titles and background include:

·         Vice Chairman, President and member of the Board of Managers, Chrysler LLC, 2007;

·         Vice Chairman, Board of Managers of Cerberus Operating and Advisory Company LLC, 2007;

·         President and Chief Operating Officer, Toyota Motors North America and Senior Managing Director, Toyota Motor Corporation, 2007;

·         President, Toyota Motor North America, 2005;

·         President and Chief Operating Officer, Toyota Motor Sales.

Press joined Toyota Motor Sales in 1970 and held positions in advertising, service, marketing, product planning, market representation and distribution.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State College (now Pittsburg State University).

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.

SAE International is a global association of more than 121,000 engineers and related technical experts in the automotive, aerospace and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.