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Gilles steps up as FCA global design chief

Uptick: Ralph Gilles now oversees the design of all Fiat Chrysler vehicles, including premium luxury brands Ferrari and Maserati.

FCA's top US designer Ralph Gilles replaces Ramaciotti as global design chief

Fiat logo6 Apr 2015

FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has appointed long-serving chief designer for North America, Ralph Gilles, as head of design for the company worldwide.

Succeeding Lorenzo Ramaciotti, who has overseen styling at the Fiat Group since 2007 and will continue as a “special adviser” to FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne, Mr Gilles will also become a member of the FCA Group executive council, the highest management-level decision-making body at the giant American-Italian auto conglomerate.

The 45-year-old New Yorker has worked for Fiat Chrysler since graduating from industrial design in Detroit in 1992, moving up through the department to become vice-president of design in 2008.

He also served as president and CEO of the Dodge brand in 2009, and head of the SRT performance division and motorsports in 2011.

Mr Ramaciotti’s influence as chief designer extends to a broad range of models including the current generation of Alfa Romeo and Maserati vehicles and those still to reach the market, such as the all-new Levante SUV and Alfieri coupe.

During a 17-year reign as head of design at the famed Italian design house Pininfarina, Mr Ramaciotti was also the main man behind a variety of other concept and production cars for the Fiat Group (among other manufacturers), including the previous-generation Quattroporte and a score of Ferraris: the 550 Maranello, 360 Modena, Ferrari Enzo, F430 and 612 Scaglietti.

“We extend our sincere appreciation to Lorenzo for his unwavering dedication, service, leadership and many contributions to the organisation,” Mr Marchionne said.

Meanwhile, FCA has also appointed Mauro Fenzi chief operating officer (systems) and CEO of Fiat’s industrial subsidiary Comau, replacing Riccardo Tarantini who will remain COO (castings).

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