Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne on Monday announced the “unbundling” of the Dodge brand into separate Dodge RAM truck and Dodge Car organisations.
“This reorganisation will allow us to protect and develop the unique nature of the product offerings within the Dodge brand,” he said in a statement.
Marchionne, also CEO of Fiat, which assumed management control of Chrysler under a reorganisation funded by the Obama administration, is scheduled to brief officials of the White House autos task force this week on its plans for Chrysler, Reuters reported last week, citing people involved in the discussions.
Those sources had said that plan would create a new Ram brand for what had until now been Dodge-badged trucks.
Marchionne today named Fred Diaz president and CEO of the new Dodge RAM brand, “with profit and loss responsibility for the… product portfolio”.
Diaz, previously the director of the Denver business centre, will also head Chrysler’s sales organisation in the United States.
Ralph Gilles, named president and CEO, Dodge Car brand, will continue to head product design.
Olivier Francois is the new president and CEO, Chrysler Brand, and joins the Detroit firm from Fiat Group Automobiles where he remains head of the Lancia brand. Francois will also head Chrysler marketing while retaining the same role at Fiat.
Michael Manley will remain president and CEO of Jeep but now also heads Chrysler operations outside NAFTA. He will also implement cooperation agreements for distribution of Chrysler products through Fiat’s international distribution network.
Joseph Veltri has joined the management team as head of product planning. He came to Chrysler in 1988 and has worked in product planning, marketing, business strategy, and finance and was most recently head of truck/SUV planning.
Chrysler said former Chrysler brand head Peter Fong had “resigned for personal reasons” while former Dodge brand head Michael Accavitti “has resigned to pursue other interests”.
Reuters sources last week said Fiat would bring its first all-new Chrysler product out by the end of 2011, compressing the normal vehicle development plan.
That would be in addition to the Fiat 500 which the Italian carmaker plans to introduce to the US by late 2010. More new models would roll out in 2012, the report added.