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Selling Chrysler supported

From freep| April 19,2007

Jim Press, president of Toyota Motor North America, said Tuesday that the potential sale of the Chrysler Group could be good for the Auburn Hills automaker and the overall industry.

Press was in Detroit to accept the 2007 Automotive Executive of the Year award, sponsored by the Automotive Industry Action Group, a trade association of suppliers and automakers. Last week, Press was named the first non-Japanese member of Toyota Motor Corp.'s board of directors.

The possible sale of the Chrysler Group by DaimlerChrysler AG is forcing the division to focus on what Press called the "root causes" of problems -- structural issues such as overcapacity where supply and demand do not match up.

"I think the company has solid products," Press said. "They're not doing that poorly. They're doing a lot to come out much stronger.

"I think that whoever winds up owning it -- or whatever the combination will be -- will be a better, stronger future, but it will also write for all of us a new chapter in how our companies can prosper in the future."

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