US automotive supplier body, OESA, has paid tribute to retiring Chrysler purchasing and supplier quality SVP, Dan Knott, who is leaving after 24 years.

Knott has been at the heart of product development with brands such as the Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee and the SRT line-up, but is now leaving to take medical retirement.

“Dan has done a great job at Chrysler to improve the relationship and collaboration between Chrysler and its suppliers,” OESA president and CEO, Neil de Koker, told just-auto from his Troy, Michigan headquarters. “Chrysler was in deep trouble three years ago and there were suppliers who were questioning whether it was worth putting resources.

“Under Dan’s leadership, he has transformed the relationship and expanded communications with suppliers. I am going to a meeting where there will be 350 suppliers in the room and he started these things. He established good principles under which there is mutual trust and collaboration – he is committed to integrity.”

The OESA president also related how last month Knott was at a town hall meeting at which 650 people attended: “It was the largest turn-out we have ever had for a town hall meeting,” said De Koker.

Chrysler has named Scott Kunselman as SVP, purchasing and supplier quality, who moves from his previous role as SVP, engineering.

Kunselman joined the company in 1985 in product engineering as part of the Chrysler Institute of Engineering Programme and has held a series of engineering and powertrain positions.

“Scott was SVP of engineering just like Dan was,” said De Koker. “We are getting another engineering guy, which the supplier community is very pleased about.

“Scott is committed to growing supplier relationships that Dan instituted.”