DETROIT -- In an effort to produce more distinctive vehicles for its three brands, Chrysler Group has chosen vehicle line executives to develop entries in six segments.
The six executives were named in an internal memo obtained by Automotive News.
The new organization is an effort by Fiat S.p.A., Chrysler's controlling shareholder, to tie product development to the needs of its brands.
Leaders of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep will work closely with the executives to order vehicles that express their brands' characteristics.
Chrysler previously divided product development into just two groups: Jeep/truck and car/minivan.
Each of the three brand heads reports to CEO Sergio Marchionne. The brand chiefs, named earlier, are Peter Fong, Chrysler; Michael Accavitti, Dodge; and Michael Manley, Jeep.
The six new vehicle line executives will report to Daniel Knott, head of vehicle engineering, who in turn reports to Scott Kunselman, senior vice president of engineering. This will help reduce so-called silos -- working groups that tend to be insulated from other areas in a company -- according to one former Chrysler official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Marchionne took an office in the Chrysler Technology Center instead of the 15th-floor executive suite so he could be close to the product programs.