In reshuffling Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' executive team last week, new CEO Mike Manley handed key brand responsibilities to two well-known, longtime colleagues with reputations as brand-growers.
Tim Kuniskis, the father of Dodge Hellcat-mania, now oversees Jeep operations in North America and Reid Bigland takes over Ram after a four-year hiatus from the brand. Bigland and Kuniskis, both 51, retain some of their previous roles.
Jeep and Ram "are two extremely important brands going forward with the five-year plan — particularly Jeep," said Michelle Krebs, Autotrader executive analyst. "These are obvious solid choices that will carry on, be seamless in terms of a transition."
Manley was global Jeep boss before succeeding CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died in July. Manley last week did not name a global head of Jeep, which is now overseen regionally by executives who report to him and the Group Executive Council — the highest decision-making body outside the board of directors.