Chrysler Group forms new independent SRT Brand and Ralph Gilles runs it
Chrysler Group's "cross-brand performance group", which has overseen production of the SRT versions of the Dodge Challenger, Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee, will become an independent division separate from other Chrysler Group brands. Ralph Gilles, Chrysler Group's ultimate car guy who has been a hands-on guy--literally--for Dodge Viper and other Chrysler Group performance cars will be freed from the more mundane cars and aspects of running the Dodge Brand. Those duties will be taken over by Reid Bigland, currently president and CEO of Chrysler Canada. Bigland will continue in that capacity as he takes over Dodge Car Brand and head of U.S. sales, while a new position, chief operating officer of Chrysler Canada, will be filled by David Buckingham.
Gilles, who had been president and CEO of Dodge Brand and senior vice president of product design since 2009, will continue with design responsibility for all exterior and interior design activities for all Dodge, Ram, Chrysler and Jeep Brand vehicles.
Exactly how the new cross-brand responsibilities will be arranged was not announced, however the new assignment will allow Gilles to press the loud pedal on the track with a little less guilt.