Chrysler Group has announced changes to its product development organisation which will consolidate so-called ‘product teams’ into three basic architectures.


The realigned teams will be called front-wheel drive (combining the small car and family vehicle product teams), rear-wheel drive (consolidating activity and premium vehicles) and body-on-frame (previously known as the truck product team).


New appointments were announced as a result.


Larry Lyons is now vice president – front-wheel drive product team and core team leader – he was in charge of small car development.


Craig Love who leads the activity and premium vehicle team is now vice president – rear-wheel drive product team and core team leader.


Michael Donoughe is now vice president of the body-on-frame product team and core team leader after previously leading family vehicle design.


All three positions report to Eric Ridenour, executive vice president of product development.


A new team has also been formed to provide greater focus on advanced development of core components and systems and standardised processes across all product teams.


Frank Klegon, previously head of the truck product team, is now vice president of product development process and components and also reports to Ridenour.


Reporting to Klegon are component team leaders for electrical/electronics engineering, power train, body-in-white, interiors and chassis.


Areas involved in development processes – testing, validation and a new position for the oversight of quality processes – and regulatory affairs will also now report to Klegon.


“This reorganisation formalises the evolution of the product teams,” said Ridenour. “We created the platform team approach to vehicle development in 1989. Those teams were realigned to strengthen product development and take on a greater product focus, then enhanced again in 2001 by adding extended team members from all disciplines to create cross-functional product teams.


“In 2003, with the increase in new product offerings, additional derivatives and the increased pace of bringing products to market, we began the transformation to organising our teams around vehicle architectures,” added Ridenour.


“In this structure, the product team vice president has overall responsibility for platform architecture, all the products and derivatives of that architecture plus best practices, re-use and commonality across those products.”