Dodge and Ram boss Tim Kuniskis, father of the Hellcat, to retire from Stellantis


Tim Kuniskis, head of Fiat Chrysler’s passenger cars division in North America, reveals the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat SUV during an online event on July 2, 2020.

DETROIT – Stellantis‘ Dodge and Ram brands CEO Tim Kuniskis is retiring after a nearly 32-year career with the automaker and its predecessors, the company announced Friday.

Kuniskis, who has led several of the carmaker’s brands in North America, is best known for leading Dodge for most of the last decade or so. He is considered the “father” of Dodge’s high-performance Hellcat models and “the unofficial spokesman” for American muscle cars.

During his tenure, Dodge reestablished itself as a quintessential American muscle car brand. The brand did so with vehicles such as the more than 700 horsepower Challenger and Charger Hellcat models and controversial Challenger Demon drag race cars.

Kuniskis will be replaced by Chrysler brand CEO Christine Feuell, who will lead Ram in addition to Chrysler, and Matt McAlear, who will be promoted from Dodge’s sales lead to brand CEO and a member of Stellantis’ top executive team. The appointments are effective June 1, the company said.

2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170

The changes come as Stellantis carries out a restructuring, including layoffs and cost cutting. It has struggled with U.S. sales, which declined 1.2% last year in a market that grew 12.3%. The company was the only major automaker to report a yearly decline, according to Motor intelligence data.

“I want to take the opportunity to warmly thank Tim for his passion, commitment and contributions to Stellantis and in defining the vision of the future electrified Ram and Dodge brands. I wish him well in his retirement,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a release. “I am confident that Chris will continue the work of Tim in leading the iconic Ram brand. Matt will bring a fresh perspective, while continuing to draw on the heritage of our iconic Dodge brand and leading the transition of the brand toward a sustainable future.”

While the company did not invest in all-new products for Dodge, Kuniskis, a salesperson and marketer, was able to grow awareness and sales of the brand’s Charger, Challenger and Durango vehicles over the years. Dodge often sparked interest by increasing V-8 engine performance or announcing new “buzz” models.

Kuniskis has been a member of Stellantis’ top executive team since the company was established through a merger of Fiat Chrysler and French automaker PSA Groupe in January 2021. He also served on the top board for Fiat Chrysler, under late CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Kuniskis’ departure is the latest in a string of changes to the company since the automaker was established. Recent changes have include a shuffle of Jeep’s top executives; North America head Mark Stewart leaving to become CEO of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.; and a shakeup late last year of the company’s international operations like the South America and Asia-Pacific regions, including China.

Don’t miss these exclusives from CNBC PRO

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Ripple CEO Criticizes Political Divide On Crypto: ‘Republicans Playing Chess, Democrats Checkers’
How on-time rent payments can help ‘credit invisible’ consumers be seen
Some renters may be ‘mortgage-ready’ and not know it. Here’s how to tell
Mortgage refinance demand jumps to a 2-year high, as interest rates drop
In the face of trade tensions, China says it will focus on its own economy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *