Ram has a new leader. Chrysler announced that Reid Bigland — head of U.S. sales and president and CEO of Chrysler Canada — will now be head of Alfa Romeo as well. The promotion means Bigland will step down from his leadership position for both Ram Truck and Ram Commercial divisions, which he's helped direct for the last two years.
Robert Hegbloom, who started with Chrysler in 1986 and has supported Ram throughout the years, will take over the Ram reins. Hegbloom previously served as director of Ram Truck Brand and was instrumental in creating, coordinating and executing the Ram Commercial side of the truck brand with the additions of the Ram Cargo Van, the Ram 4500/5500, the Ram ProMaster full-size van and the coming ProMaster City compact van. Hegbloom was also instrumental in convincing top executives that moving the three-quarter-ton Ram 2500 to coil rear springs was a good investment. After conducting our 2014 Ultimate Three-Quarter-Ton HD Challenge, we think he was right. The announcement did not say who will replace Hegbloom. Maybe most importantly, Hegbloom will become a Chrysler North American Free Trade Association board member and will be able to participate in future product plans.
There's no telling what might change in the short term at Ram, but our first opportunity to see how it handles the transition will be at the 2014 State Fair of Texas next month. Our guess is this change will be relatively seamless given how involved Hegbloom has been since the first day of Bigland's tenure as head of Ram. But we'll reserve judgment until we see the next-gen Ram 1500 or possible Colorado/Canyon fighter.
This is the five-year plan for Ram Commercial as presented by Bob Hegbloom at the last year's Work Truck Show. The show is typically a good place to meet with fleet buyers who want to know what's coming so they can better plan for their business's future.
This is Bob Hegbloom introducing Easton Corbin at a special event in Las Vegas before the American Country Music Awards, where he got to announce to quite a few excited dealers that Ram had just sold more pickups than Chevy for the month.