Ralph Gilles started at Chrysler in 1992, and he’s still with the company as the chief design officer at the newly formed conglomerate, Stellantis. His design resume is legendary: The Chrysler 300C, Dodge Magnum, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and the SRT Viper. But now he’s leading Stellantis into the electric future, which requires (and allows) for radical new designs.
Gone are radiators, exhaust piping and massive crates of metal consuming the front quarter of the vehicles. Designers now need to account for just batteries and motors, and this is resulting in a dramatic paradigm shift that could see the reinvention of passenger vehicles.
Gilles has a daunting charge: create and implement a design language that links the far-flung Stellantis lineup. From Chrysler to Alfa Romeo to Ram and Peugeot, with Jeep and Dodge and Citroen mixed in, too. Some of Stellantis’ brands are among the oldest in the automotive world, and he’s in charge of pushing them into the future.
Look at the just-released Chrysler Airflow concept. To me, this speaks to his deep respect for the legacy of these brands. The 2025 Airflow is supposed to reinvent the Chrysler brand — just like the 1934 Chrysler Airflow reinvented the young Chrysler brand nearly 90 years ago.
Respecting the past while moving forward is a challenge facing every mobility vendor and manufacturer in the mobility space, and we’re thrilled to have Ralph Gilles speak candidly on the process at TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility.
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