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Carrying the Torch: Dodge Seeks its own Identity

“The challenge is getting the word out.”

by on Feb.11, 2011

Ralph Gilles serves dual roles as Chrysler's corporate design chief - and as head of the Dodge brand.

Chrysler is in the midst of a major turnaround – or so it hopes — and of the company’s five marques, perhaps Dodge, which has been repositioned the mainstream performance brand, is the biggest torch-carrier for the company.

A lot of the credit for that arguably goes to Ralph Gilles, the president and CEO of the brand – as well as the head of design for Chrysler itself.

The youthful Gilles, who favors designer jeans and casual button-down shirts, rather than the suit-and-tie uniform, resonates with the media and enthusiasts precisely because he comes across as a car guy and not a stuffed shirt.

Now he needs to get his brand to have the same favorable image with a skeptical public.  And no one knows that better than Gilles himself.

“We need to re-open a discussion with America,” Gilles said. “Get our own identity.”