Jim Press appears to be on the same page as his new boss atLLC.
The auto makerâs new vice chairman and president in charge of international sales and marketing says his goal is to freeemployees to âdo what they need to do to take care of the customer.â
These words echo those of CEO and Chairman Bob Nardelli, who told journalists earlier this month that he is âa huge believer in reinvesting in our human capital.â
Press makes his remarks on thefirehouse.biz, a Chrysler blog aimed at the news media.
âOne of the things Iâve learned over the years is the talent in the organization doesnât rest wherever the executive floor might be,â Press says.
While Pressâ defection from rivalMotor Corp. was seen as a coup for Chrysler by industry analysts, Press says there is âno silver bulletâ to success.
âItâs about empowering the organization, driving decision making closer to the level where they know what needs to be done,â he says.
Press says the foresight of Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management LP gives the auto maker a great advantage.
âWe have been given the opportunity to earmark a ton of money for development of advanced products,â Press says. Chrysler declines to say how much.
Meanwhile, Press says one of the reasons he joined Chrysler was its veteran dealer network and strong workforce.
The addition of Press is expected to mend Chryslerâs dealer relations, which were strained because of the inventory glut that developed last year.
In his first week on the job, Press makes a point to visit three Chrysler dealerships, including Parkway Chrysler Jeep in Clinton Township, MI.
Chuck Riley, owner of Parkway Chrysler Jeep, says he was impressed by Press, who was accompanied by Nardelli and Steve Landry, executive vice president of North American sales.
âJim is a straight-up guy, you believe everything he says to you,â Riley tells Wardâs. âHeâs very concerned with dealer profitability and understands that itâs crucial to his success and the new companyâs success.
During his visit, Press âtalked to everybody,â Riley says, noting that he went so far as to ask the people who clean the cars about the quality of the paint and offered frame-straightening tips to body-shop personnel.
Another dealer visited by Press, who asked to remain anonymous, says he too was impressed.
âHeâs absolutely a great guy, very personable,â he says.