Interview: Ralph Gilles, chief design officer, Stellantis

CDN_Ralph Gilles-r4

Stellantis’ chief design officer Ralph Giles speaks to Car Design News about his mentor Tom Gale, tinkering with Giugaro-designed sciroccos and how the company is moving towards electrification

Ralph Gilles is a chief design officer for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Maserati, and the Fiat Latin America brands, which all fall under the Stellantis umbrella. Gilles joined Chrysler’s design department in 1992, and was appointed vice president of interior design for Jeep truck and specialty vehicles in 2006. Among his best-known projects are the Chrysler 300 and the SRT Viper. Gilles spoke to CDN editor James McLachlan at the recent Car Design Dialogues North America virtual event. 

Car Design News: You’ve mentioned Tom Gale as a mentor in the past, and I wondered if you could share a little bit about what you learned from him.

Ralph Gilles: Tom was a fascinating person in the way that he had an engineering degree, a business degree, and a design degree. So, he was really a triple threat. I observed him handling engineers like no designer ever could because he often knew their subject better than they did. He was the father of the 20-inch wheel on the Ram truck, which set the market alight – he would go to battle and get cab forward proportions on the pick-ups. For the first eight years of my career, I just watched him in action. Right around his retirement, I reached out to him and said, “Hey, could you mentor me?”

We’re glad you’re enjoying Car Design News

To continue reading this article and others like it SIGN-IN or SUBSCRIBE TODAY

For a one-time only FREE TRIAL granting you access to three premium articles register here

This article is available to CDN subscribers only
SUBSCRIBE TODAY to gain full access

CDN Comp Tablet phone image2

The benefits of your subscription include:

Access to motor show and concours coverage, trend and technology reports, design reviews of new and classic concept and production cars, exclusive interviews, regional reports, who’s where, design essays, career resources, design competitions, regular newsletter updates PLUS comprehensive degree show reports from the world’s leading design schools, the CDN archive of sketches, images and articles spanning 20 years of coverage.

 

An online subscription also gains you access to exclusive designer interviews from our annual Car Design Review yearbook, and access to exclusive interior design reviews from Interior Motives magazine. You can also receive Interior Motives in print through our online + print subscription, or buy individual copies of Interior Motives and Car Design Review.

 

Fees start from £55/€60/$70. Packages available for students, individuals, schools and corporates.

cdn-newspress-award-banner      cdn-newspress-award-banner

Gain full access to cardesignnews.com subscribe today

For a one-time only FREE TRIAL granting you access to three premium articles only register here

ALREADY SUBSCRIBED - Individual, Studio, Student or School

You now need to register your details and sign-in for full access to cardesignnews.com

SIGN-IN here