Ram Truck CEO Moves to Nissan USA

Fred Diaz HD II

In a move that took many in the industry by surprise, Ram Truck and Chrysler of Mexico President and CEO Fred Diaz has accepted the newly created role of divisional vice president, Nissan Sales and Marketing for Nissan North America, effective immediately.

Many will remember that Diaz moved into his leadership role at Ram Truck when the brand first changed it’s name from Dodge to Ram in 2009. He was later given the title president and CEO when Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne broke the company into several brand-specific entities (Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Mopar), each with separate leaders responsible for product, sales and marketing.

During his 24-year career at Chrysler, Diaz had a series of sales roles, beginning as a trainee and zone manager in Texas, then later promoted to head of national sales and finally becoming head of the newly formed Ram Truck brand. During his leadership he oversaw the refresh of the current Ram heavy-duty trucks, the complete overhaul of the 2013 Ram 1500 and the development and introduction of the Ram Commercial group, which included the debuts of the Ram ProMaster and soon-to-be-released ProMaster City.

Although Diaz will be in charge of all Nissan products (cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks), his expertise in the pickup truck market will be especially important to Nissan as it struggles with the challenges of reinventing its next-generation half-ton pickup truck that has lagged in sales behind the entire segment.

Astute truck enthusiasts will remember that Chrysler and Nissan were in the midst of a shared-platform half-ton collaboration several years ago (we reported on it as far back as 2008) just as the bottom was falling out of the U.S. economy, leaving Chrysler exposed and in need of huge financial support from the U.S. government. One of the first project cuts made during the restructuring was the Chrysler/Nissan new pickup truck alliance. Eventually, after the Italian-owned Fiat Group bought Chrysler, Diaz fought to get the new Ram 1500 program back on track.

Whether or not Diaz will be able to ignite truck engineers at Nissan to breathe new life into the next Titan and Frontier remains to be seen, but it’s worth noting he will also have the entire car lineup to keep him busy as well.

We suspect, since this announcement came down with very little warning or notice, this offer was made from the highest levels at Nissan, likely coming from Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan, himself.  

The pairing of the two heavyweights should be interesting to watch but could have interesting long-term implications for the types of technology we’ll see in pickups in the next five to 10 years. Ghosn has never been shy about his passion and support for battery-powered eco-vehicles like the Leaf, and Diaz has never been shy about his love for high-profit high-luxury truck packages like the Long Horn and Laramie Limited. From our point of view, if he can repeat just a small part of the 2013 Ram 1500 success in the next Titan pickup that would be a huge success for Nissan truck customers.

Another area that could see great improvement is Nissan’s growing commercial truck segment, with the new full-size and compact NV work vans.

Additionally, Diaz had made some big inroads into the Spanish-speaking truck markets of the Southwest and in Mexico. Those credentials could also be a huge help to Nissan sales and marketing here in the U.S. as well as in Central and South America.

No doubt there will be more information in the coming days, weeks and months about how this kind of new leadership (and it may not end here) will affect Nissan’s morale and future products. All we know now is that a big name has made a big jump and this definitely changes the game in the full-size pickup segment.

For the full Nissan press release, click here.

Fred Diaz Chrysler II

 

Comments

Well yeah what did you expect after the Dodge I mean Ram burned up, well the move may have something to do with the Cummins Engine and Nissan. Good news for GM if that's the case, we love competition and let's see a Duramax in a 1500!!!

Never would I of imagine Fred Diaz would betray Ram for $$$, huh Nissan is a joke but who cares. Major mistake by far!!! Did well for Ram but $$$ talks!!!

Am I staying on Subject oh yeah Ford Sucks so does Toyoda!!!

"Whether or not Diaz will be able to ignite truck engineers at Nissan"

Perhaps ignite isn't the best word to use since that has been happening to quite a few Ram products lately.

HemiV8 has a case of Pyrophobia - why fan the flames?

All kidding aside - good luck and good fortune to Fred Diaz.

Maybe we will see a Cummins powered Titan with air ride, some sort of cargo management system, and an 8 speed.

AllAmerican - you seem to be fixated on the word "sucks". You do give the impression of being an expert in fellatio. Explains the fanboy love of GMC.
Not that one would want to stray off topic and since this is part of the "free internet", I'm just exercising my freedom of speech.

Why do you think that Fred Diaz betrayed Ram?
He is free to work for whom ever he choses.
(As long as he hasn't violated any contract)

Those Japanese/French corporations must pay better than those USA/Italian corporations.
All those profits leaving the country - at least some of those profits are going to end up in his pockets.

@LouLou Fck U, that's Free Speech!!!

@AllAmerican - wow, those GED courses really have paid off for you.
Rhyming and swearing, are you a rapper?

You must be depressed about the fact that GMC is discontinuing the Cadillac EXT.

LouLou, how much Ford Brake Dust have you inhaled? How many times have you hit your head riding up and down on a less primative suspension on a Super Duper Dooty.

Why do you seem to think your always right, all I have to say is Fck U and what ever idealogy you may have LouLou.

It surprises me that not one person realises the connection between Diaz and Nissan might have something to do with the Titan and Ram sharing the same platform.

This didn't eventuate, but at least Nissan is going to have a great diesel, the 4 cylinder Cummins ISF 2.8.

The engine seems to be going quite well here in Australia the moment as we are getting the engine in a Chinese Foton pickup. I have only heard good reviews on the engine.

At least Nissan is helping an AllAmerican company like Cummins develop a globally competitive light diesel. Something the US really needs at the moment.

Great move Fred Diaz. Sometimes a change of direction is needed. It will be interesting to see how the new Titan sales figures are in the future.

I wish him luck.

@Pickuptruck.com

Great job on moderating the forum!

@PickupTrucks.com
This site needs the same change. It is not what it used to be, period. The main causes for PUTC's downfall are:
* Prolific bashing
* Derogatory comments

Also, you had a article stating there would be moderating.
It's abundantly clear nothing has changed.

I would like to know what Mike Levine thinks of this site today.

Got out while the Getting was good I guess... tells me that Nissan is probably fixing to "change the game"...

AllAmerican = Typical GMC driver. (clueless and ignorant)

I'll be sticking with Chevrolet if I ever returned to that company. This news is rather odd. I just talked to Fred at a Texas event not long ago. He seemed like a very personable guy. I guess money talks. Maybe Nissan saw how Dodge is making gains on Chevrolet in the top 3 sales and thought he'd be a key asset in taking them higher? Perhaps.

I am going to positive on this news and give Nissan credit for hiring a talented truck guy. Nissan has had a great history with solid reliable compact trucks. Maybe Mr. Diaz will revive Nissan trucks and make them competitive again. From what Diaz has done for Ram trucks I think this is a smart move for Nissan and maybe, just maybe they will take the truck market more seriously.

@AllAmerican -- Of course you have a right to express yourself and your opinions here but I think we can do better here. Name calling and swearing doesn't help anyone's argument. Please try to keep your positions and opinions at the highest levels possible. Thank you.

All American, I don't think its a mistake for Diez to go to Nissan, after all you have to do what is best for you not the company when persueing your career and it sounds like he is going to have a much bigger job being over an entire car line and I'm sure it pays more.

Thank you, Mr. Williams!

LOL @ MARK WILLIAMS... Always a Day Late and a Dollar Short!!!!!!!!!!!! MARK YOU ARE SLOW WITH NEWS! PLEASE QUIT AND GET MIKE LEVINE BACK!

I BET YOU WON'T EVEN DO A HEAVY DUTY COMPARISON WITH THE NEW 2013 RAM 3500... DON'T WANT TO SHOW CHEVY UP..

"I would like to know what Mike Levine thinks of this site today."

-----

"Happy birthday to http://PickupTrucks.com , which turns 18 years old today!

"Nice to see it going strong." - Mike Levine

https://twitter.com/mrlevine

LOL Ram is screwed now, their only hope has up and left.

It was best to get out now before all the crap hit the fan in 2014:
1) All of the hype of the 2013 came and went
2) 8 speed and all of the goodies didn't deliver
3) Still don't have the 2wd Hemi 8 speed numbers more than one year after Diaz made the reveal in NY that Ram was the class leader...must not be that good or there is a problem
4) The problems at the factories with morale or the parts not being available
5) New Chevy coming
6)All New Fords coming
7 Fiat will take 100% ownership of Chrylser/Ram in 2014...who knows how that will go, we do know that Sergio's #1 priority is to his homeland in Italy
8) It is much harder for Ram to gain ground on Ford and GM....Ram is still a distant third.
9) Nissan isn't just trucks and is at the bottom of the barrel of pickups.....the only way it can go is up. Ram on the otherhand can go down like it did in 2008/2009.

The same trolls that use profane and vulgar language on this site, suddenly clean up their act on other sites that won't put up with it.

They still 'troll' though, but that's allowed to some degree.

I wish Mr.Diaz the best for his future...he deserves it.With all the positive things he has accomplished for Ram,I'm sure he'll turn Nissan into a viable player in the PU truck game.

I do agree with AllAmerican on one thing...that GM should at least consider a Duramax turbodiesel option in the 1500 models. After having the only line with a half-ton diesel option in the eighties and nineties, GM gave up the chance to field the first modern half-ton diesel to Ram.

DVP Diaz (and the next RAM CEO), the best of luck to you. Nissan needs a lot of help with their rigs, and considering the success of RAM trucks, Nissan will hit the ground running.

I wonder if Nissan did offer that 2.8 Cummins diesel in the Titan (IMO should be a Frontier engine since it's a four-banger), how it would stack up against the V6-TT'gas Ford F150 EcoBoost...

@Liam
I would prefer to see the 2.8 Cummins instead of the current 2.5 diesel 4 cylinder.

The 3.0 V6 diesel we get is quite good, but can be heavier than other diesels on fuel when pushed.

The Titan with the Cummins connection can only help Nissan in the pickup market.

Fred Diaz would know the people at Cummins as well. Nissan has done well with this catch.

Well after the colossal screw up with the release of the 2013 HD ram 3500( which still has not been released), he is turned tail and ran from his botched mess up. The 2014 model year is coming soon and Ram (Diaz), still hasn't got the 2013 3500 figured out. One of the worst truck screw ups in history, Ram is going to lose a whole model year over Fiat's fire blazing Ram trucks, sad.

Not sure how i feel about anything dodge related having influence on Nissan, but if that's what it takes for Nissan to shake up the truck market again like it did in 04, so be it!!

I know there are plenty of japanese haters on this site, but many of the goodies you now have on the big three trucks were on the titans first.

As the former owner of a bullet-proof Nissan Frontier-I think this is great news. (Sold it only for more cab room and bed- space).Maybe now Nissan can field an equally good half ton.

Diaz must have close long-term contacts with Cummins. And Nissan desperately needs a fuel efficient truck. Plus Nissan and Cummins have been collaborating on a diesel Titan research project. This move makes totally good sense and I am sure we will see a 30 mpg Nissan/Cummins truck in the next 30 months-or sooner. I cannot wait...

I don't know why Diaz is so great. He botched the 2013 half ton rollout, he botched the 2013 HD model year, and he botched the Ram Runner - costs too much.

I emailed fred diaz

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Told him how frustrated you guys were with not getting any 3500's into the dealerships yet. This is all I got.


Good Morning,

Just curious… tons of rumors on the internet as to why 3500’s (none cab chassis) are not hitting dealerships. The rumors are actually getting out of hand and I know of 5 guys telling their RAM dealers to cancel their order and to forget it. Nobody can get a straight answer from customer service, and when they talk to someone else the answers are different. Now I know you had the engine cover issue .. now there is a rumor about running out of Aisin transmissions etc. That doesn’t explain the extraordinary amount of 3500’s sitting in storage. If I can get real answers and explanations as to why nobody is getting their trucks I will keep these guys waiting so they don’t jump ship.

Am I frustrated that I won’t have my truck before vacation? Yes, but I won’t back out on my order… 6 weeks and hasn’t even been started.
Quote:
We’re all over it Jeremiah. Really appreciate your offer to help us.

Take care,
Fred

http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/2013-general-discussion/591745-i-emailed-fred-diaz.html

Fred is all over it alright. Over it and onto Nissan!

(It) Is a very arrogant response to a nice email providing real information on how customers are feeling. If he's this arrogant to "us" I wonder how arrogant he is to work with.
__________________

Since we can't talk about our new 3500's we might as well speculate about Fred.
Maybe he failed in getting the trucks to market and was asked to move on.
Or maybe, he was tried of working for a dysfunctional corp that couldn't get off it's collective thumb.
Who knows?
I do know Chrysler has been bailed out twice,and has Ram and Jeep lines that experience Death Wobble.

I also know I need a truck and I am not willing to wait forever.
I remember when cars had new sheet metal every year.
The 3500 has the same exterior,Ram doesn't make the engine(a good thing) and sources many of the other components,they are not inventing the wheel here.
This whole thing smells rotten.

http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/2013-general-discussion/591745-i-emailed-fred-diaz-5.html

----

And maybe his "take care" was really supposed to say "See ya sucker, I am out of here" LOL

---

Originally Posted by Slyder
Going from President/CEO of Ram to a division VP at Nissan, reporting to a SVP, seems like a step down in stature to me. I wonder if he lost his ride, so to speak.

Perhaps Fred moved to Final Inspection status and didn't pass.

- Chris

It was just a matter of time, he screwed up this launch bad and now it's time for a new CEO, and that's the way it works....

-----

Why not ask some reports/journalist to investigate? Something like Car and Driver, pickup truck (PUTC), diesel power magazine, etc. I bet they could sniff this out.

After reading some of the posts about there being zero 2013 HD's on the market, and the fact that there has been huge hype about 1/2 ton 8 speeds with the 5.7 but none have seen the light of day, was the departure of Fred Diaz a coincidence?
That leaves multiple questions begging to be asked:
1. Was his contract with Ram finished?
2. If no, did he have to pay a penalty for jumping ship?
3. Did he leave to avoid the embarrassment of having to answer for the fact that 2013 models have been hyped but not delivered?
4. Did Fiat chose to cut their losses and let him go even though he may still have been under contract?
5. When will Ram deliver on the much hyped 2013 LD and HD trucks?
6. Will Marchionne surface as the overachiever that once again saves Chrysler/Ram/Jeep?
7. Is it a case of a man jumping the fence to greener pastures or the proverbial rat fleeing the sinking ship?

Lou...everybody knows you have a tiny schmeckle. Now get outta here with your stupid questions!

@Lou
If you look at the marketing hype (wars) between the Big 3 regarding pickups, Ford has out witted both GM and Fiat/Ram.

Nissan and Toyota have keep well away from the marketing.

GM has come off second best, by being conservative in its approach and I do feel GM wishes it had better and more to offer.

Ram has been on its front foot releasing lots of promises about up and coming products. Even with the current Ram deficiencies Ram sales have improved.

I would guess that personal reasons are why Fred Diaz jumped ship and maybe a promised better career path.

Remember, there are institutional cultures at play here and Fred might not fit into the new Fiat program.

The Big 3 have always operated differently to the rest of the world, I think Toyota has the closest resemblence to a US manufacturer.

This is good news--to me. It means the RAM CEO will likely no longer opposed Jeep getting a pickup truck of its own.

Anyone happen to think that maybe he moved to Nissan to get away from Marccione's nagging? We all know how much Marccione is FOR Jeep getting a pickup truck.

I think the very first comment from AllAmerican is 100% correct. I'm willing to bet the Cummins will eventually be phased out from Ram in favor of a Fiat diesel. That's not bad because Fiat has been making diesels for a long time.
Nissan will see a Cummins engine to finally get some notice and some respect from the American truck buyer. How long will it take to put that product out.........?
I love seeing this because it keeps upping the ante from the other truck makers! We win either way.
A little update from my part of the world. Stay tuned for some diesel offerings from VW including a truck in the USA.

The history of Chrysler and Ram could have been much different. Especially if it was still with Damlier. Just like where would Ram be in 5 years if Fred stayed on.

Here is possibly the worlds best pickup, but its made in Germany, ironic. And its a production truck not a one off.

A Raptor violator. Detroit could learn from this.

Mark Williams can you please do an article on this pickup.

The AMG 6.3 twin turbo V8 gets 3.25 tonnes to 100kph in under 6 sec.

Most awesome pickup so far made.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s5CdtZBwro

It was best to get out now before all the crap hit the fan in 2014:
1) All of the hype of the 2013 came and went
2) 8 speed and all of the goodies didn't deliver
3) Still don't have the 2wd Hemi 8 speed numbers more than one year after Diaz made the reveal in NY that Ram was the class leader...must not be that good or there is a problem
4) The problems at the factories with morale or the parts not being available
5) New Chevy coming
6)All New Fords coming
7 Fiat will take 100% ownership of Chrylser/Ram in 2014...who knows how that will go, we do know that Sergio's #1 priority is to his homeland in Italy
8) It is much harder for Ram to gain ground on Ford and GM....Ram is still a distant third.
9) Nissan isn't just trucks and is at the bottom of the barrel of pickups.....the only way it can go is up. Ram on the otherhand can go down like it did in 2008/2009.


***********

I'll add a few more points to my list:

10) Next Ram mid-size that we have been hearing about for many years - nothing came to market.

"Right now we’re struggling with getting the capabilities of the vehicle right"

At least with the Ford, they said no. With Ram it is always maybe, they are studying or struggling with nothing coming to market.

11) Likewise, the Jeep pickup revealed years ago....nothing came to market. What is the holdup?

12) No Ram HD's as mentioned from posters above....Ram made a big deal of it being "half a semi" or something and taking out GM and Ford. Now, nowhere to be seen.

13) HD's caught fire during crash testing and brought great embarassment

14) The Texas Longhorn that burned last month for the Texas journalist - really embarassing

15) Unable make a factory Ram Runner profitable

16) Ram Promaster design - ugly, looks cheap, it is a work truck but not as nicely designed as others I have seen

The Hemi 8-speed and HD Aisin trucks were always planned as late roll outs. We weren't supposed to have them yet. There's nothing worth speculating about but of course we will lol

Cut the crap. The Hemi 8 speed was delayed....

"RAM 1500: Due to revised launch timing, the Ram 1500 4x2 HEMI 8-speed (26_CPOS) has been delayed..."

Also, shee here:
8-Speed Delays or Cover Up for Bugs?
http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=139173

I'm going through this now I ordered my truc in march on april9 th dealer said the regional rep called and said dodge would only build my truck with the hemi and 6 speed.i ordered the penta star with the 8 speed. The hemi was advertised as being equipped with the 6 speed yet their sitting on the dealers lots with the 8'speed and now there are no 8 speeds to put in the v6 that their touting as 25 mpg North American truck of the year with the 8 speed yet neither are available because they decided mid year to put the 8 speed behind the hemi. Thanks Chrysler!"

-----

I'm going through this now I ordered my truc in march on april9 th dealer said the regional rep called and said dodge would only build my truck with the hemi and 6 speed.i ordered the penta star with the 8 speed. The hemi was advertised as being equipped with the 6 speed yet their sitting on the dealers lots with the 8'speed and now there are no 8 speeds to put in the v6 that their touting as 25 mpg North American truck of the year with the 8 speed yet neither are available because they decided mid year to put the 8 speed behind the hemi. Thanks Chrysler!"

---

If you noticed a few weeks ago the 2014 Durango was realeased. It came with much fan fair as it is only available with the 8 speed. The two engine combinations are the 3.6 and Hemi. The Hemi build is only being supported by ZF presently as Chrysler starts the ramup on the 8HP70 for the Hemi.

Ram is sitting backseat to the Durango Launch for those Transmissions.
They were comitted a while ago else it would have delayed the Durango launch.

---

They spent a ton on money on ads and disapointed everyone that went to a dealer lot to get one. The "Truck of the Year" nonsense is useless if they are not available. The ads don't stop even though it seems productons has. Bad management!

---

The 8speed delays are due to problems with machinery. They are just having problems getting the production and assembly line running smoothly.

---

Chrysler jumped the gun on this one. Originally Allpar predicted Hemi 8 speeds weren't suposed to be out till Nov...now they'll have to eat dirt. I've been eying a 2013 for around that date for a chance at a...

---

They gave me the same line about the incentives.getting a 2013 when the 2014 are coming out isn't gunna work. My dealer was talking to the factory rep and there was no date I hope it works for ya.

And to ask consumers to take a hemi with a 6 speed in place of the v6 with the 8 speed is kinda ballesy when the ones in the lot have 8 speeds.the purpose of ordering is to actually get what you want not what dodge decides you want

Also from the Cummins link above:

Pr-planned my rear end. Why was my original ship date Feb 26th?
http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/2013-general-discussion/591745-i-emailed-fred-diaz-5.html

I read that he was tired of the quality issues facing the Ram pickup.

09 ram launch....was the only domestic truck maker to lose both sales volume and market share.

11-12 starting gain back what was lost but still a distant 3rd

2013 ram launch...all Ram 8 speeds speeds including Pentastars have been delayed, not just hemis.

the 2013 half a semi HD is delayed indefinitely.

the ram runner from the factory is unprofitable.

fred diaz was CEO and dropped the ball.

Let's get away from all the speculation. Diaz got another job with a competor, Nissan, and for his sake I hope he got a huge increase in pay. Maybe Ram is over promising and cannot deliver or maybe they still will deliver on their promises only time will tell. Let's not jump to conclusions.

Odd some people are saying RAM is finished now...

In fact Diaz was a Sales and Marketing guy : aka Salesmen..he didnt design the trucks...

Since 1994 RAM Trucks have been a leader in design,power,comfort,ride,handling and sales increased ten fold then ,so why would it drop to nothing now ?

Diaz didnt invent the new HEMI nor the truck,he was a PR Guy..Furthermore,he wasnt always at the helm of RAM,just came in sometime around 09..and the current design was already finalized before he was at RAM..

As far as I can see RAM Trucks will only get better..it takes more than 1 sales guy to make a company strong..Did he do a good job,I guess so,but there are people out there who are better...You know someone else is always better at something than you,so...This is just a way for jealous GM,Ford,Asian Truck Fans to vent and think/hope RAM will all of a sudden become as ugly as Ford and slow selling like Nissan..

In reality,he didnt like his new role of Chrysler-Mexico boss,he wasnt full command at RAM anymore,he was Chrysler-Mexico Boss,and he said in a interview he really didnt like living in Mexico,away from his family in the U.S.Now the head of Nissan USA,he is in the U.S and maybe going to France and Japan once in a while to see the big Boss..

So Diaz may now go to those respective Countries and have some fine Cusine,in France he could have some Horse Meat,and in Japan eat some Dog Meat as it is those countries fine cusines..Chow down Diaz,chow down...

The natives are restless. This was supposed to be a feel good story. Now it has turned into a Fred Diaz/Ram brand bash fest.

You really shouldn't read into this any more.than when Jim Press moved from Toyota to Chrysler. Executives are like anyone else- sometimes a better offer comes along. Diaz was just more visible than some others.

@Paul: Item 11 -- The reason nothing came of that is that the RAM CEO/President/chief has strongly opposed Jeep having any trucks of its own because that would take sales away from the Dodge Trucks/RAM brand. While that might be so, it would bring MORE sales to the Chrysler brands.

I do agree that everyone is speculating, but isn't that the point of a news blog?

There have been multiple delays and more than a few embarrassing events: up in flames Cummins, up in flames 1500, Pentastar ticking problem, disgruntled UAW disrupting assembly etc.

I have to agree with only one portion of Canadian Rambo's post - Diaz didn't engineer or build them.
BUT as a guy with a sales background, it does look like he botched the PR end of the Ram product rollout. They are guilty of premature "advertisement" trying to stick it to the competition.

One can pan GMC for playing their cards close to their chests and let Ram steal thunder, but so far, no thunder from Ram, just flatulence.

@Big Al from Oz - that AMG 6x6 is one nasty piece of kit. Raptor like suspension in a 6x6 with portal axles. Sub zero cool factor.



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