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Chrysler shakeup in dealer area (updated)

by David Zatz on

A new thread on DealershipForum has shed more light on this story; the thread includes an official notice from Fred Diaz, CEO of Ram.

As part of the continuing effort in our company’s transformation, the following appointments are effective immediately reporting to me:

• John Plecha [45 years old, hired from Ford] is appointed Director – Great Lakes Business Center [taking over from Brian Schnurr]. Reporting to John are:
o Eric Craft – Sales Manager
o Greg Martin – Marketing Manger

• Al Gardner is appointed Director – Southeast Business Center. [Replacing John Plecha] Reporting to Al are:
o Dave Englen – Sales Manager
o Craig Bowers – Marketing Manager

• Jeff Hines is appointed Director – Denver Business Center. Reporting to Jeff are:
o Bill Potter – Sales Manager
o Cheryl Ansel – Marketing Manager

• Steve Zanlunghi is appointed Director – Mid Atlantic Business Center. [Replacing Hal Wurster who will run Regional Advertising Centers] Reporting to Steve are:
o John Powrie – Sales Manager [replacing Steve Zanlunghi]
o Charlie Glymph – Marketing Manager

• Jeff Kommor is appointed Director – Midwest Business Center. [Replacing Lewis Scott]  Reporting to Jeff are:
o Carlos Jimenez – Sales Manager
o Matt Thompson – Marketing Manager

• Todd Stewart continues as the Director – Southwest Business Center. Reporting to Todd are:
o Mike Oliver – Sales Manager
o Erika Boss – Marketing Manager

• Phil Scroggin continues as Director – Northeast Business Center. Reporting to Phil are:
o TBD – Sales Manager [replacing Jeff Kommar]
o Scott Tallon – Marketing Manager [replacing Ed Del Otero]

• Chris Chandler continues as Director – West Business Center. Reporting to Chris are:
o Shannon Carr – Sales Manager
o Jay Weaver – Marketing Manager

• Jamie Noll is appointed Dodge/Ram Brands Marketing Mix & Product Optimization having a dual
reporting relationship to myself and Ralph Gilles President & CEO Dodge Car Brand and Design
AOA Ram_Sales Feb 2010

In conjunction with the above appointments the following appointments are also announced reporting to
Steve Beahm – VP Sales Operations
• Tod Hartje is appointed Director – Sales Planning & Incentives
• Lewis Scott is appointed Director – Dealer Relations. Realigned and reporting to Lewis is:
o Geoffrey Edmonds – Sr. Manager Dealer Relations
• Freda Bane is appointed Head of Market Center Operations

The rumored Chrysler shakeup appears, not surprisingly, to have occurred in the area of dealer relations, where it seems that at least one key, long-serving executive, Brian Schnurr, has been replaced. One poster referred to Brian as “Very bad manager, hot temper, and a ton of very questionable terminations.”

One of the problems with Chrysler’s dealer-dropping system, other than not telling dealerships the exact standards and where they fell short (in numeric form), has been that in some cases, dealerships have seen their nearby rivals claiming their franchises. In some cases, these are rivals who had not sold a Chrysler Group brand before.

(This is NOT the dealership that was involved.)

This appears to have been the case with the dropping of Birmingham C-D-J near Detroit. One large, highly regarded dealership with a dedicated owner, selling all three brands, was closed down, and a rival across the street was awarded new franchises for the brands.

There appears to be a new setup for the CPOV Field Reps, where there is now an Eastern Region and a Western Region with two Regional Managers added; each region has four business centers. Other business center managers appear to have  been fired or demoted.

More changes may be in store, as the dealer-trimming effort is now being followed by arbitration in many cases, and where franchises have already been awarded in the same geography, Chrysler may need to pay restitution.

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