DETROIT - The Chrysler group has streamlined its marketing organization in a move that takes the group back toward the platform team system of the former Chrysler Corp.
The changes create more autonomy for each brand and give marketing executives more input in the product development process. It also holds the executives accountable for brand success, vehicle sales and profits.
"Marketing used to have significant input on vehicle strategy," said Jim Schroer, executive vice president for global sales and marketing for the Chrysler group. "We have reasserted the role of marketing to do as good or better as when the (platform) teams started."
Under the platform team system that began in 1988, personnel from areas including engineering, marketing and manufacturing worked together on a vehicle from development to launch. Gradually the marketing role was limited, and platform teams became less important after DaimlerChrysler was formed in November 1998.
A priority under the new system will be to bolster the Jeep brand.
"There has been some progress on Chrysler," Schroer said. "We've been doing great with Dodge. But we've got a challenge with Jeep because the SUV segment has really grown.''
"With brands like Hummer and Land Rover, the bar got raised. We need to raise the game on Jeep, and now it will have a dedicated team.''