Friday, May 18, 2007

Two Chrysler design vets plan to retire

Two veteran Chrysler designers are expected to announce their retirements today.

Tom Tremont, 57, vice president for advanced design, and Dave McKinnon, 64, vice president responsible for small, premium and family cars, will retire in the next six weeks.

Their departures are unrelated to Chrysler's sale to Cerberus Capital Management this week, Chrysler spokesman Sam Locricchio said. "This is part of a well-thought-through succession plan," in the company's design department, he said.

Tremont oversaw the creation of vehicles including the Dodge Challenger concept car that drew crowds at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the Jeep Gladiator concept pickup. Tremont will retire June 30.

He will be replaced by Brandon Faurote, who has been working in Chrysler's advanced passenger-car design studio. Faurote's résumé includes the Chrysler Firepower and Nassau concept cars.

McKinnon's legacy at Chrysler stretches from the company's original 1984 minivans to the current Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible. He will retire May 31.

Joe Dehner will succeed McKinnon in leading Chrysler car design. Dehner has worked in Chrysler's car and truck design studios on a range of models including the Chrysler Pacifica wagon and Chrysler Airflite concept.

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