The global motor industry is well-positioned for long-term growth despite short-term challenges, Toyota North America President Jim Press was quoted as saying less than a week after being named the first non-Japanese member of the parent company’s board.

The Associated Press (AP) noted that Press was named to the board last Thursday amid growing fears of a political backlash for the company’s booming US sales. It came at a time when Toyota is boosting sales in North America, grabbing market share away from Detroit automakers.

Press said at a Detroit lunch event that the city, as the heart of the US motor industry, remains a key player in the present and future of global vehicle making.

Press, honoured at the event as automotive executive of the year, reportedly said Detroit remains the epicentre for the kinds of “technological solutions” needed to solve the industry’s long-term challenges, including global warming, safety and energy security.

“There is no reinvention in Detroit,” he told a crowd of mostly industry leaders, according to the Associated Press. “What Detroit needs to do is to continue to have faith in itself.

“It isn’t reinvention that is necessary. It’s to go through this process of entering a global age. And that’s going to give us some heartburn in the short term, but from a long-term perspective, it gives us a lifetime of success and prosperity.”