Chrysler has announced a few changes in their organization as they approach a scheduled November announcement when they will unveil their next 5 year strategy.
First is they will break the trucks out of their Dodge brand, leaving a separate Dodge Ram Brand that specialize in trucks and a Dodge Car Brand that specialize in cars.
Sergio Marchionne has mentioned he would like the Dodge Car Brand to move toward being known for outstanding driving dynamics and away from brute force muscle. This makes sense as Dodge will share some upcoming platforms with future Fiat/Alfa Romeo models, cars known for having outstanding driving characteristics.
This change also offers a broader targeted audience as more people are interested in how a car drives in day to day life as opposed to outright horsepower (and the negative impact on fuel efficiency that sometimes entails).
The other changes are personnel changes, however, the big change is Peter Fong is stepping down from being head of the Chrysler Brand and being replaced by Olivier Francois, head of Fiat's prestigious Lancia Brand.
All these changes are setting the stage for Chrysler's mid November announcement that promises to be quite exciting.
Below is the official Chrysler press release:
Chrysler Group LLC Announces New Appointments
Auburn Hills, Mich., Oct 5, 2009 -
Chrysler Group LLC today announces brand and commercial organization changes.
“The brand-focused strategy has been refined further with the unbundling of the Dodge Brand which now consists of the Dodge Ram Brand and the Dodge Car Brand organizations. This reorganization will allow us to protect and develop the unique nature of the product offerings within the Dodge Brand,” Mr. Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group LLC said.
Fred Diaz Jr. President & CEO, Dodge RAM Brand and Lead Executive for Sales
Fred Diaz Jr. is appointed President and CEO, Dodge Ram Brand with profit and loss responsibility for the Dodge Ram product portfolio. Mr. Diaz will also be the lead executive for the Sales organization in the United States. He was previously the Director of the Denver Business Center. Mr. Diaz has been with the Company since 1989 in positions of increasing responsibility. The Company will announce Mr. Diaz’s replacement with a separate announcement.
Ralph V. Gilles Head Product Design & President and CEO, Dodge Car Brand
Olivier Francois Lead Executive for Marketing & President and CEO Chrysler Brand
Ralph Gilles is appointed President and CEO, Dodge Car Brand with profit and loss responsibility for the Dodge Car product portfolio. Mr. Gilles will continue to lead the Product Design organization of Chrysler Group which he joined in 1992.
Michael Manley President & Chief Executive Officer, Jeep Brand
Olivier Francois is appointed President and CEO, Chrysler Brand, with profit and loss responsibility for the Chrysler product portfolio. Mr. Francois joins the Company from Fiat Group Automobiles where he serves as head of the Lancia Brand, a position he retains. Mr. Francois will also be the lead executive for the Marketing organization with responsibility to coordinate worldwide marketing strategies, brand development and advertising for the Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge Car and Dodge Ram brands. He will continue to lead these functions within Fiat Group Automobiles. Mr. Francois joined Fiat in 2005.
Joseph Veltri Head of Product Planning
Michael Manley will continue as the President and CEO, Jeep Brand with profit and loss responsibility for the Jeep Brand product portfolio. Mr. Manley will also be the lead executive for the international activities of the Company outside of NAFTA and will be responsible for implementing the co-operation agreements for distribution of Chrysler Group products through Fiat’s international distribution network. Mr. Manley has been with Chrysler since 1998.
Joseph Veltri joins the Management Team as Head of Product Planning. Mr. Veltri started with the Company in 1988. His career has included positions in product planning, marketing, business strategy, and finance. He served most recently as Product Planning Lead and Head of Truck/SUV Planning.
Peter Fong, head of the Chrysler Brand has resigned for personal reasons. Michael Accavitti, head of the Dodge Brand has resigned to pursue other interests.
Courtesy Chrysler Media