Engineers Can Help with Brand-BuildingI continue to follow news of what tacks American auto companies are trying as they attempt restore their competitive strength. Most recently, I came upon a report of an announcement from Chrysler that it is altering how it designs and engineers new vehicles.
A major aspect of the new set-up is organizing product teams by brand:
The Jeep team will focus on the SUV brand; the truck team is responsible for advancing the Dodge truck brand; and the car and minivan team develops Chrysler's full-size cars, the current midsize lineup and minivan products.This is in contrast to the 2004 product team set-up, which involved production teams that were platform-based. (For example, there were teams for body-on-frame vehicles, such as trucks, and for front-drive vehicles. See this report in Marketing Daily.)
In addition, the future midsize product team focuses on future midsize vehicles for worldwide markets; and SRT [Street and Racing Technology] continues Chrysler's performance branding.
Now, if things go according to plan, everyone on the production teams, regardless of whether they have a direct marketing function, will be attuned to the importance of giving brand values high priority in discussions of the myriad issues that come up during the process of designing a vehicle and bringing it into production.