"The root cause of their problems is that the company was hijacked, some years ago, by anti-family, financially oriented pirates," Press said in a rare statement.
"They didn't have the character necessary to maintain a customer-first focus. Akio does."
The comments are the first Press has made about the company where he spent 36 years before joining Chrysler in 2007.RelatedLawmakers scold Toyota president
Toyoda, the grandson of the automaker's founder, "is very capable, and he embodies the virtues and character that built this great company," Press said.
DETROIT FREE PRESS
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