Chrysler moves design boss Ralph Gilles to lead new SRT brandTue, 07 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Chrysler Group on Tuesday shuffled the heads of its vehicle brands, placing design chief Ralph Gilles in charge of the newly created Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand while handing his duties as head of the Dodge brand to Reid Bigland.
The move is a way of getting all of the automaker's SRT efforts together under one leader, spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said.
Gilles, 41, will still be in charge of Chrysler's motorsports activities and the design for Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep vehicles.
The SRT group traces its beginnings to the team that developed the original Dodge Viper in the early 1990s. It has used the SRT name since 2004.
At the New York auto show in April, Chrysler rolled out the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8. Those vehicles use a new 6.4-liter Hemi V8 packing 465 hp.
Among the other executive changes:
-- Bigland continues as president and CEO of Chrysler Canada in addition to taking on the Dodge brand.
-- Fred Diaz, who runs the Ram truck brand, adds president and CEO of Chrysler Mexico to his responsibilities.
-- Joe CharmaSrour, formerly head of Chrysler's Mexico operations, has been assigned to International Operations, reporting to Mike Manley, who also runs the Jeep brand.
By Dale Jewett