Tuesday morning, Chrysler Group announced a number of upper management changes and the rebirth of SRT -- Street and Racing Technology -- as its own brand once again.

 

First, there's the management changes:

 

Fred Diaz

  • Yesterday: president/CEO of Ram Brand and lead executive for U.S. sales
     
  • Today: Still president/CEO of Ram Brand, but now also president/CEO of Chrysler de Mexico, including responsibility for Latin America. This region is now under Diaz, separate from Mike Manley, lead excutive for international operations, as well as president/CEO of Jeep® Brand.

 

The new Mexico/Latin America role for Diaz shows the growing importance of those markets for Chrysler Group's future success.

 

Reid Bigland

  • Yesterday: President/CEO of Chrysler Canada
     
  • Today: Still president/CEO of Chrysler Canada, as well as president/CEO of Dodge Brand and head of U.S. Sales.

 

In related news for Chrysler Canada, David Buckingham has moved from VP of sales to a new position, chief operating officer.

 

Ralph Gilles

  • Yesterday: President/CEO of Ddoge Brand and senior vice president of Product Design for Chrysler Group
     
  • Today: Still senior VP of product design and now president/CEO of the newly recreated Street and Racing Technology Brand, our cross-brand performance unit. Gilles also has responsibilities for the company's motorsports activities (same as before).

 

In addition, Joe ChamaSrour is reassigned to international operations and reports to Manley.

 

SRT

Chrysler launched the SRT Brand at the 2002 NAIAS "to create a line of industry-leading performance vehicles and parts." While we still made SRT vehicles, there wasn't as concerted effort in development and marketing in recent years.

 

With Gilles's obvious passion for design, racing and the auto industry in general, he's the ideal person within the company to assume leadership with the SRT Brand. Combined with his current design responsibilities, it's really not a big change from his previous role with Dodge -- just more focused on making sure customers have fun options for Chrysler Group cars.

 

Through the end of May, Chrysler Group had sold 2,901 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 vehicles, the only SRT in the 2011 lineup. However, starting this fall, we'll have four members to the SRT family with 2012 models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and the Chrysler 300 SRT8 (both unveiled at the NY International Auto Show), Dodge Charger SRT8 (unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show) and the Dodge Challenger SRT8.

 

For the SRT fans, check out the Drive SRT Facebook Page.

 

Images

Top: 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8

 

Bottom: 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8