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Chrysler brands will each have own design chief

by Bill Cawthon on

As part of Chrysler Group’s shift to a brand-oriented structure, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep will now have their own chief of design. All the brand chiefs will report to Ralph Gilles, senior v-p for product design.

At Chrysler, the design team will be led by Brandon Faurote. Faurote, 37, previously was v-p of advance design, international and color/trim. He worked on the Chrysler Firepower concept, Dodge Neon, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Sebring coupe and the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Dodge team will report to Joseph Dehner, 44, who previously was v-p for production cars, minivans, truck and Jeep design. Dehner participated in the Chrysler Pacifica, Crossfire, 2007 Chrysler Sebring (sedan and convertible), 2001 Sebring and worked on the Stratus exterior.

Mark Allen, 46, will head up the Jeep team. It won’t be a major change for Allen who was formerly chief of Jeep and Dodge truck design. Among his credits are the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty and the hit 2006 Jeep Wrangler.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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