Chrysler has created a new role called chief customer officer for quality assurance veteran Douglas Betts, who has also become a vice president.

"This newly created role assumes responsibility for corporate quality and will become a key element in Chrysler's continued effort to become a truly customer-oriented company," the automaker said in a statement.

According to Chrysler, Betts will be guided by "the voice of the customer," and will create the processes, culture, systems and organisation to achieve the highest levels of quality in all of the company's products and "customer touch points". He will be based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and report to vice chairman and president Jim Press, recently recruited from Toyota.

"Now, the customer will define quality at Chrysler," said Press. "We are aligning our resources to bring us to world-class benchmark levels in quality and customer satisfaction, and this is an important step."

Press described the CCO - a claimed first for the auto industry - as an "advocate for the customer."

Betts joins Chrysler from Nissan Americas, where he was senior vice president - total customer satisfaction and previously served as vice president - manufacturing quality. He joined Nissan after holding quality assurance positions with Toyota, Michelin and General Motors.