Chrysler has announced a reorganisation which consolidate marketing and product planning structures into so-called ‘vehicle brand teams#;.

“These teams have one goal — to strengthen our brands,” said Chrysler president and CEO Dieter Zetsche.

“Therefore, we’re organising marketing into three teams, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge, with executives in charge of each who will be held accountable for the overall success of all vehicles, marketing programmes and the dealer experience for their respective brands.”

“We aim to make Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge as desirable and strong in the marketplace as Mercedes-Benz is in the high-end luxury segments,” said sales and marketing VP Jim Schroer.

The newly-appointed marketing vice presidents will have direct control over the budgets for their brands and their success will be measured by brand strength, the growth of their respective brands, and ultimately, by profit contribution.

Each marketing vice president will have a marketing communication and advertising/marketing agency team assigned to the brand, a dealer marketing programmes department, and a newly-assigned marketing and product planning director.

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The reorganisation is apparently a reversal of the previous structure where the respective vice presidents of global brand centres for Jeep and Dodge, Tom Marinelli and Jim Julow, concentrated less on overseeing advertising and focused closely on aspects of the vehicles such as future model planning, pricing and consumer incentives.

Following the reorganisation, Marinelli becomes vice-president of Chrysler marketing, Jeff Bell is the VP Jeep marketing and Darryl Jackson becomes VP Dodge marketing.

These three report to senior VP, global marketing, George Murphy while Julow becomes VP of motorsports and SRT marketing.

“To administer product development properly, you set up the organisation by vehicle architecture,” asserts Chrysler#;s VP of product development and quality, Rich Schaum.

“To run marketing right, you organise by vehicle brand. This might be easy if you are a one-vehicle brand company, but becomes more challenging at Chrysler Group, because our brands — Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge — can and do utilise multiple vehicle architectures.”

Schaum said that a task force of marketers and product planners within Chrysler Group recommended a unique approach: directors to supervise both the marketing brand managers and the product planners.

“These people will report to the marketing vice presidents on brand issues and to the product team VPs on product planning issues,” said Schaum.

“Given the nature of the positions, it was crucial to find people with expertise in both engineering and marketing.”

New marketing and product planning directors are: Paul Wilbur (Jeep marketing & activity vehicle); Ann Fandozzi (Chrysler marketing and family vehicle); Steve Bartoli (Chrysler car marketing and premium vehicle); Joe Veltri (Dodge truck marketing); Rich Ray (commercial vehicles); Dave Kimball, (Dodge marketing & small vehicle).

Additionally, Mike Evans is now VP of product strategy and takes on a new role as chairman of the corporate product planning committee, which is made up primarily of the product planning directors.

He is charged with ensuring that all product teams use common processes to migrate new technology into vehicles, oversee safety and fuel economy objectives, and improve development efficiencies.

Evans will remain on the product strategy team, Chrysler#;s top-level committee charged with setting the direction for all new vehicles.