2021 ALL STAR | BRAND EXECUTIVE
MIKE KOVAL JR.
Ram brand CEO,
Pickup consumers are some of the most demanding out there, but Ram has been able to meet their quality expectations.
Ram, as it steadily added more technology and luxurious perks to its haulers, has surged in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. The brand finished 21st in the 2019 study before rising to No. 3 in 2020 and then leading the industry in 2021.
When the 2021 IQS results were released, brand CEO Mike Koval Jr. said Ram’s rise has been “extremely gratifying.”
“When you climb into our cabin, the first thing you notice is how quiet it is and how comfortable it is,” Koval told Automotive News in August. “We have back seats that do front-seat things. They’re heated, they’re cooled, they recline. It’s really that attention to detail of the overall interior, I think, that has allowed Ram to really rise to the top of the class.”
Koval, 43, has been a fixture at Ram since 2016, when he was named head of Ram brand operations. He moved up in 2019 to become director of Ram’s product marketing in the U.S. He was promoted in 2020 to head of the Ram brand for FCA North America, shortly before the automaker merged with France’s PSA Group to form Stellantis in January. He continues to lead the brand after the merger.
Koval must now shepherd the brand as it introduces electrification across the lineup. Ram plans to debut its first battery-electric 1500 in 2024. Koval said during Stellantis’ EV Day in July that Ram will have a full-electric offering in the majority of its segments by 2025 and have a “full portfolio of electric solutions for all of our segments no later than 2030.”
Koval said he doesn’t feel that adding electric powertrains will make it harder for Ram to maintain its quality gains in the future.
“We’re extremely close to our customers,” Koval said. “We’ll deliver what they need when they need it with a full portfolio of best-in-class solutions. We know that they have high expectations and will fully develop our technology and deliver it at the right time as we look to redefine the segment once again.”