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Ralph Gilles is FCA’s new Head of Design

by Bill Cawthon on

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has named Ralph Gilles as its new Head of Design. Not just for North America; for the whole company and all brands.


In addition, Gilles has been named a member of the Group Executive Council, the highest management-level decision making body within FCA.

Gilles, who has been Senior Vice President for the North American Design Office since 2009, will replace Lorenzo Ramaciotti who is retiring.

During his tenure as head of North American design, Gilles also was the CEO of Motorsports; the President and CEO of the SRT Brand and CEO of the Dodge Brand. Gilles helped create the Chrysler 300C concept vehicle and was the lead designer of the Dodge Magnum and Dodge Charger.

He has been with Chrysler since 1992.

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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