5 minutes with Dodge Ram’s CEO

5 minutes with Dodge Ram’s CEO

“The DNA of the Ram brand will always have Dodge DNA in it,” said the new President and CEO of the Dodge Ram brand, Fred Diaz Jr.

Diaz has been in his role as president and CEO of Chrysler’s recently created Dodge Ram brand for less than two weeks. He's on the hook to chart a new course for the company’s pickup trucks and commercial vans, which make up just under 40 percent of 2009’s year-to-date Dodge car and truck sales.

“It’s my responsibility to make sure that I nurture the brand so it’s distinct and all about trucks,” he said. “At the end of the day, the Ram [pickup] will still have some Dodge DNA to it. Anything that’s a real, true truck is part of Ram and the Ram brand going forward.”

From Chrysler’s perspective, it’s easy to see why Diaz is probably the best candidate for the job. He’s a native Texan who’s been with the company since 1989. Diaz worked his way up from handling Chrysler’s West Texas dealers and marketing activities to managing its 14-state Denver region. He was also director of marketing, communications and advertising for the entire Dodge brand in 1999.

“I’m going to draw upon the wealth of experience that I have to try to define exactly where we’re going as the new Ram brand,” Diaz said. “I’m going to define the vision and say, ‘Let’s go get it guys’.”

Already, there’s been keen interest and debate from Dodge truck owners and enthusiasts about what the new brand means to those who proudly say they drive a Dodge Ram pickup. Is the ”Dodge” part going away? Diaz won’t say for sure, but listening to him speak, Diaz draws a line between Dodge cars and Ram trucks.

“I don’t know. I can’t speculate but it’s one of my priorities to figure that out,” Diaz said. “The car side is definitely going to be marketed and branded different than the Ram brand, which is all about trucks and their capabilities.”

Diaz said this doesn’t mean that Ram trucks will immediately shift away from their longtime Dodge heritage, but Diaz does have to figure out what elevating the Ram name means to Ram-brand pickups.

“That’s another area I need to delve into and figure out,” Diaz said. “I certainly can’t see us marketing a Ram Ram.”

He’ll also need to figure out what the future holds for the Ram’s mid-size brother, the Dakota pickup. Earlier this year, there were official plans to replace the Dakota’s body-on-frame platform for a unibody architecture that would support a “lifestyle pickup.” Those plans have changed.

"I don’t want to speculate about the Dakota,” Diaz said. “Check back on Nov. 4” when Chrysler holds an executive-level meeting to reveal more details about the future of all the Chrysler brands.


He didn't really reveal too much did he? Guess he's an auto exec alright.

Simple answer call it a Dodge Ram...

Ever notice people take off the Ram badges...and add Dodge stickers...

Hint ,we dont like the Ram name..especially on its own..sounds good Dodge Ram not just Ram...

You will lose sales with a Ram Ram or a Ram Bo Peep 1500,Ram Billy Goat 2500..Leave it a Dodge Ram...

Wow,the Dodge Ram is your only vehicle that people dont ridicule ..And your going to get rid of /mess with your best seller ....bad idea... leave it a DODGE !!!!! I dont know how to be much clearer...DODGE, DODGE ,DODGE !!!!I bought 3 new Dodge ram's (1999,2004,2007)and will not buy a Ram,I cant take it anymore...The 402 h.p GMC looks better every day and it doesnt have a lame name as Ram bah,bah...Keep it a Dodge Ram and I will be back for another Dodge truck soon..A Ram Ram 1500 Rumble Sheep..NO !!!

Obviously you have talked to people who drive a Kia or Honda and they think its a good idea for a Ram name(though they would never ever buy a Dodge truck or any truck),and you totally stepped all over Dodge truck owners with this horrible idea !!! I feel stupid for standing up for Dodge all these years ,I should get slapped by every Ford,GM Import truck owner...Thank -You...I will never buy a Chrysler,Dodge,Ram,Jeep product again if this goes through.....oh yes I am not alone...I know several Dodge truck owners who feel stepped on...fools we are for standing up for Dodge...shame on me...Funny I am in my early 30's making real good money now,was going to buy a new Dodge ram liked them.....was a Dodge guy so every 2-4 years I would plop down 40 grand for a truck..and recommend them to people..oh well no more!!!!Unless its a Dodge Ram...

Once again......

Just call it a Dodge Ram...

Dodge Ram Truck Brand....

We know a Dodge Ram is different than a Dodge Challenger,as we know a Dodge Caravan is different than a Dodge Viper..

So much for being brand loyal..Fool I am...I want a Dodge Ram...not a Sheep Dip as Chevy truck owners call the Ram..

How about all the Dodge truck owners that do not know this is going on...Wow they are not going to be happy..recovery in 2011 ..think not!!

This is what owners are doing to the Ram Ram.


Should still be a Dodge, it will FAIL if not.Repeat FAILURE Ram brand ! People are going to call the Ram(weak name on its own without Dodge doesnt sound right) a Chrysler truck, thats what they will call it or else they wont know what it is Ram ? What is it ?(the Toyota owner asks) oh its a Ram,who makes it ? Chrysler.This has FAIL written all over it ! Diaz is on Rams death watch.tic tic tic.

Truth about seperation from Dodge,
Ram truck brand will be for sale to the Chinese soon or to Mahindra from India as Raminder is a popular name so Ram has India written all over it,good move to sell for the Indians.(Fiats Ram plan)or sure now,this is why the Dodge guys wont buy a Ram truck,who could blame them,make payments for 5 or so years and half way through the brand is sold off to Mahindra,Kia,Honda,who in their right mind would buy a Ram.Ford F-150 sales just shot up by 17,000 units a month.

Leave it DODGE Ram!!!! I swear people with power and money try way too hard to change things because they see it as being a good idea (power trip). Chrysler listened to feedback on the new Dodge Ram design, so maybe they should listen to feedback on the name!! Makes me furious. DODGE DODGE DODGE. I don't care what Ford or Chevy boys say. Dodge is a good product with decades of heritage behind the name itself. PLEASE keep the Dodge name!!!! What are you guys thinking over there in Italy?!

Really stinks. Chrylser has been bounced around for more than a decade. All started with those arrogant ***** in Stutgartt buying them out in '98. This company will never be what it once was, nor the same again. R.I.P. Chrylser.

I don't think the point is to kill the Dodge Ram truck line or sell it. The point is to kill the car side of the house, separate the unit that makes money, aka Dodge Ram, and let the car side of the house die. Fiat makes plenty of cars, they don't make trucks, with the exception of giant Euro cargo vans that will never sell in the States.

I could not agree more w/ Grant from the first time I read this it sounded like the death of Dodge cars not trucks personally I was always a Ford guy but just recently got me first Dodge (a deal I could not refuse) an 02 dakota 4x4v8 sport and I love it I have friend with Rams from different years and body styles and do believe my next truck will be a Ram Ram or w/e they call the 1500 and by then i doubt I will see Dodge cars around or at least around w/ the same ownership

REALLY!?! You guys think that, just because they changed the brand name people are going to stop buying the best truck on the market.

The only reason for the change is to get the tarnished car image, away from the polished truck image.

Look at it this way, if Chevy dropped the Silvy are there sales going to drop any. No, becasue they will all go to GMC, same truck different name.

...Fiat makes plenty of cars, they don't make trucks, with the exception of giant Euro cargo ....

Fiat is the second largest producer of trucks in the world simply is not selling with the badge FIAT but with the badge IVECO

I still say this move is pointless and will only confuse the common consumer, while irritating loyalists. Dodge cars and trucks have been a well known team. The issue with them was quality and design, even though there are many great Dodges over the years that were very reliable. The problem is there are too many that were not, and too many vehicles that don't fit any catagory and people don't want.

They should have kept the single Dodge division, and fixed the quality issues. The new Ram Ram (so stupid) is a good truck that sells well. Seems they just got good, now they're gonna screw it up with an executive change. They need an engineer in charge, the MBA guys can't seem to make a good call...

OCT,No your analogy about Chevy,GMC then the trucks would be called Sierra Sierra 1500..not GMC!!!

Chrysler years ago changed names and sales flopped..
Remember the Imperial upscale Chrysler.
Fargo version of Dodge trucks in Canada..Flop...
How about Eagle,same as Intrepid,Concorde but Eagle Vision never sold at all major flop...

I feel the same about Ram take it away from Dodge mess with loyal buyers,you may still get some new buyers but unloyal and sales most likely will flop...a very risky move,that they should not take!!

I can see it now Ram sales will be as good as Dakota sales,I guess that is what they want..600 untits a month ..good job.

Ram isnt a good brand name people will call them a Chrysler truck as the editor of this site already mentioned Chrysler:Ram heavy Duty...If it would be Dodge people would know who/what it is....Remember alot of the population wont know what a Ram is,Dodge has the history...

Dodge as a brand has a good reputation,Viper,Charger,Challenger Caravan (most reliable minivan by J.D)

As a loyal Dodge owner this really concerns me..I cant see myself buying a Ram..a Dodge truck is what I want a ram has no attachment and will buy a GMC or Ford as I feel they are bundling Ram trucks to sell off to the Chinese,Indians or Japanese..Think Hummer brand...The Dodge guy's faith in Chrysler is shot right now and with this Dodge crap going on..its time to walk away from them .I think the Dodge Ram is the best truck on the market,but this Ram name concerns me so much I will not buy one..Spend 40 grand to find out the next day ram is sold off t some unknown Chinese company...NO RAM FOR ME!!!

So,keep it DODGE !!!

Or end up with the beloved Dakota sales numbers !!!!!


Rick O - your post is one of the most logical one's I've seen. It's true that Dodge has made good vehicles but there has been way too many crappy ones. This has tarnished the whole line. Loyalists will probably tough things out. People are easily confused so this may hurt Dodge in the short and long term. I've already seen confusing and conflicting posts due to this. I've seen confusion amoung the "buy Amercan" proponents. I would suspect that as Fiat gains greater ownership share of Dodge they probably will kill a large portion on the Dodge/Chrysler car line and replace it with it's own. The truck line has been less tarnished with crappy vehicles.
This is what MSN news had about Fiat's ownership:

Fiat will initially hold a 20 percent ownership stake in the new Chrysler.
* Fiat's ownership stake will increase to 35 percent in three increments as it meets the following criteria: 5 percent for bringing a 40 mpg vehicle platform to Chrysler to be produced in the United States; 5 percent for providing a fuel-efficient engine family to be produced in the United States for use in Chrysler vehicles, and 5 percent for providing Chrysler with access to its global distribution network to export Chrysler vehicles. (Each of the 5 percent increments will be held in trust until Fiat is able to claim them.)
* Fiat will be granted an option to acquire an additional 16 percent shareholding that will bring its total ownership stake to 51 percent.

Fiat would have an easy time with 40 mpg vehicles, as well as a fuel efficient engine family. Letting Chrysler/Dodge have access to their world wide network should be easy as well. I doubt that most of Dodge/Chrysler's products would sell well in European markets.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes Fiat to hit the 51% ownership mark.
I wonder how long it would take for Fiat to start marketing their Iveco trucks in North America.

I just thought of a potential new name for the Dodge Ram line. Iveco Ram.......... makes you wonder.

Lou-Reason Dodge loyalists are so ticked off by this,we want a DODGE not an Iveco or Ram.We dont care that the Heavy Duty's are made in Mexico,we just want a Dodge Truck,not Iveco or Ram its not a Dodge....Dodge truck buyers are loyal and most Dodge truck owners own a Dodge car.Hope this helps you in sorting some of the confusion about ticked off loyal Dodge owners..I see Ford,GM,Toyota picking up many ticked off Dodge owners sales,I know people who will do so..I am one..

The real question is if you support more domestic oil and gas exploration....

“The DNA of the Ram brand will always have Dodge DNA in it,” - so is it a shame to use it "DODGE" longer? Damn, guys, Ram is probably the best selling Dodge all the time! I'd see if they try the same way for example with the Challenger or Viper - that will be funny!

As an European guy I would like to tell You Americans: don't let screw yourself by the damn Fiat! You're have been building great cars, that we love here in Europe (If you own one real, "full-blooded" here, You are the undisputed road king!) and we have lot of US Cars clubs too even if the gas price is much higher (~8$/gallon) than You have! You created one of the best car class - pickup truck, so please don't let those idiots ruined it more and more...
Let the power be with YOU!

(Scott) - The real question is if you support more domestic oil and gas exploration....

Scott what is your point??

What does that have to do with a discussion about pickups???

North Amercans need to be self sufficient in relation to oil and gas but we really need to aggessively find alternate energy sources.

Scott - Are you asking that question in relation to hybrid pickups???
The current hybrid pickups are a waste of money. If you buy one you'll never get a return on your investment. Right now one should buy "smart".
I just read a test where a Toyota Tundra with it's new 4.6 litre engine got 1 mpg less than the Chev hybrid. It had better towing and carrying numbers as well.

All the pick up brands are within a few mpg of each other and are slowly improving.
Go to truck trend.com They have a great story on how hard it is to improve mpg.

D - your post on why Dodge owners are pissed off make sense. I refer to pickups by their manufacture's name: ie. Ford, Dodge, Toyota, GM,or Chev. I rarely refer to a truck by Sierra, Tundra, Ram etc. All my friends are the same in that regard.
Dodge/Chrysler management have done a wonderful job of f--ing up. You can blame some of it on Daimler - Benz but it was Dodge executives who gave control to Daimler - Benz when they merged.
I thnk the new CEO - Diaz is already going down the wrong path. Look at what he said
" this doesn’t mean that Ram trucks will immediately shift away from their longtime Dodge heritage,
but Diaz does have to figure out what elevating the Ram name means to Ram-brand pickups.

From the posts I've seen - if you take away the Dodge name you kill the heart of the Ram!

Put the shoe on the other foot. Take the "Ford" name away and just call the truck line "F-Series Trucks", with no Ford badging on any of them, but always having "Ford DNA". This is just an example to show how stupid this sounds, calling it a Ram. I love my DODGE truck. Dodge is what I take pride in, not the Ram name. Dodge trucks have been around long before the Ram branding was ever used.

I feel Chrysler is finished if they dont call the Dodge truck a Dodge anymore.I wonder if Diaz reads these posts,these are real owners with real emotions,and buying power.Its not like the Ram is the only truck on the market.They all make real good trucks these days and by alienating the Dodge boys you are done !! Alot of Dodge buyers will go elsewhere!!Ram sounds stupid as a brand name.


Bare with me,Here is an example of how stupid the Ram name is,my girlfriend and her friend (know nothing about cars/trucks) I mentioned this to them what Dodge is doing and they couldnt believe how much of a bad idea this is,first words were are you serious,sounds like a bad idea,and thats coming from mid 20 year old non car people,if they can figure it out ,why cant the brass at Fiat/Chrysler?

("I just thought of a potential new name for the Dodge Ram line. Iveco Ram.......... makes you wonder.") - Quoted from "Lou"

If I ever, Ever, EVER, go to a Dodge dealership (or whatever they plan to call it, such a stupid decision to change the names around) and I find that the pickup trucks are just rebadged Ivecos from Fiat, I’ll be done with Chrysler, FINISHED! I’ll go to Ford or GM for a truck.

I can already see we are going to lose the Dodge cars (they will be rebadged Fiats) but if Fiat touches the pickups, so help me God, I’ll buy Ford or GM.

WOW...this is a terrible interview. Didn't give any real answers...and a bunch of double talk. Sounds like a person that doesn't know what he is doing! Either that...or a Used car sales person. Yuck!

Hello FORD! Looks like a bunch of loyal Dodge RAM owners coming your way...

This interview took 5 minutes?
More like 5 seconds. And yet, still a complete waste of time.

"We won't market a t Ram Ram."
"I don’t know. I can’t speculate..."
"I can't speculate about the Dakota."

Gee, thanks a lot for the insight.

Sadly, this type of pre-announcement, vaporware BS corporate misdirection seems to fit perfectly with the clueless way Chrysler has been run lately. Let's just say my hopes aren't real high for the future of "Ram".

Fiat is starting to make Daimler look much prettier.

With Daimler wasn't so bad - Chryslers, Dodges and other cars started to looking really good, original (300C, Challenger, Charger, Ram, Magnum, Town&Country/Grand Caravan etc.) the company returned on a good track and people started to fascinate with them and now history is starting to repeat - Chrysler is on a good way to a mess!

They have to leave the truck a DODGE.I like many will move to Ford or GM even look at Toyota. 13 years of only owning Dodge trucks I will like others buy a Ford or GM or even Toyota since Dodge will no longer have a truck.A Ram is not , I repeat is not a Dodge !! Get this Diaz I will not buy a ram only a Dodge Truck .Dodge is what I want.Ram has no history.

Why is a Ram not a Dodge? I'm sorry but you guys are nuts.

well the 2011 ford super duty is looking better all the time!

Yes Fiat/Chrysler is nuts for not making the Ram a Dodge anymore.

Unbelievable action they chose.Dodge truck owners are loyal Dodge people.

Hello Ford !!! Unless the Ram is still a Dodge,but according to the interview they stress Ram so they can go to hell !!

Fiat even says it wants to reduce the reliance of trucks so,I figure the unbundling of the Dodge name and the new Ram brand leaves it open for Fiat to sell the Ram line of trucks off to Tata,Mahindra or another.Why would I spend my hard earned cash on a brand that may be for sale (sale of Hummer rings a bell)

So a loyal multiple Dodge truck owner is gone to Ford.My 69 Dodge Super Bee will have a Ford towing the trailer queen to shows.Unless the truck remains a DODGE Ram!

why does it matter mark j? its the same truck..the only reason they split is so that dodge can focus on cars more and ram can focus on trucks more...is that bad? no...

wow if you guys switch trucks just bc a name you are truly retarded...its still the same truck...id still buy it if they renamed it a unicorn..wow i musta forgot when the name of a truck became more important than performance..

Here's a link to IVECO's English language site:


Anyone who wants to call those products anything other than giant Euro cargo hauling vans, (the light duty products, heavy duty products obviously compete with Kenworth and International, not Dodge Ram or Ford F-Series), can go right ahead. I've lived in Italy and been all over Europe, there really isn't any equivalent to the American full size light duty truck, not with a Fiat or IVECO badge.

Remember when it was "Dodge Power Wagon" ? That was the greatest marketing scheme ever! This RAM idea is FAIL!!

well here's an idea! use RAM as the brand name and address the trucks by their numbers. soooo instead of saying i own a dodge ram 3500 just say i own a RAM 3500. honestly its simple.

Why mess with the best vehicle built. Just leave it alone. The government let Chrysler fail with its failure to impose tarriffs. Now this guy is gonna change something ive bought for 15 years. Give me a break another Ivy league educated blue blood who thinks he knows something about trucks. If you need some advice I would be happy to tell the first rule. Never ever change its name.

Prefer Dodge Ram name, why would you ever change the name??? When you have a good thing going, stay with it. We own three work farm trucks, a beat-up 94 Dodge 1500 with 151,000 miles, 02 Dakota with 89,000 miles and a very impressive 03 QuadCab, 5.7 Hemi with 192,000 miles. Next truck will be 2010 QuadCab 5.7 Hemi Dodge Ram.

to Fred Diaz Jr. I don't know what your thinking. A pickup truck, no matter how luxerous the interior is, is a work truck! Why in the good Lords name would you put coil springs for the rear suspension. Work trucks are supposed to carry heavy loads! they are supposed to tow heavy loads! With the Hemi motor they definitly have the power, give them the suspension that they require!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Dodge truck has struggled with sales and tries to keep up with Ford and Chevy. Dodge needs to focus more on options and truck sizes instead of worring about the name. I also belive that if the name changes, the Dodge truck will fall further behind to a point it will be gone. Other problems that this company needs to worry about as I stated before, truck sizes and opitions. Why didn't Dodge have a crew cab through 1994 -2002 ( yea try to fit a American Steel worker or a landscape crew in the back of a quad cab, have fun. Finally after sooooo many years they have designed one. Or why hasn't Dodge made a 4500 or 5500 before 2006 ?? Dodge never even offered a 3500 1 ton in Ford and Chevy have 650-750 etc, Dodge never did. Thats the reason why the other two brand left Dodge in the dust. People who buy these trucks, are small / huge company owners, farmers etc, they NEED opitions. I just hope someone will take their head out of the @#% and design these trucks for the owners who will use them. Make the inside so nice that you'll attract Ford & Chevy owners to the Dodge brand. I own 5 Dodge trucks 4- 2001 and 1 - 2006 they are great hard working trucks, but they need to stay up to date with opitions like Ford & Chevy. Could you imagine how many Dodges more could of been sold if they had a normal crew cabs and offered 650 & 750. If the ram brand is bought by a non american car company, I will NO longer by the brand. They don't need a suit and tie pencil pusher who drives to work in a mercedes to call the shots of this great truck. If they really want to go far with this truck. Have a huge summit of truck owners and ask wht they want, give the truck the most hp, the most power. I just wil never understand what they are doing at Dodge marketing. Dodge needs to have a come back that will blow the doors off Ford and Chevy in every class, come on wake up .................

Dodge ram

Dodge carries a load like nothin on wheels
Ram needs to fix the 0-60 in 15.3 sec.
It should only take 11.0 for an muscle up truck

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