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Bidwell, Lutz Split Sperlich Job at Chrysler

January 26, 1988|LESLIE ERINGAARD

Chrysler Chairman Lee A. Iococca has announced a reorganization of Chrysler Corp.'s automotive operations, appointing two men to handle the responsibilities of Chrysler Motors president.

The realignment will also put cars and trucks under one organizational umbrella, and allow Chrysler to increase its focus on domestic product development.

Bennett E. Bidwell and Robert A. Lutz will split the duties previously held by Harold K. Sperlich, who is retiring as Chrysler Motors president Feb. 4.

"Fundamentally, I think Chrysler is just moving around people to make up for the retirement of Sperlich," said David Healy, an auto industry analyst with Drexel Burnham Lambert. "They're moving around the abler people to make up for (him)."

Bidwell, 60, will become the president-product and marketing and will head a brand-oriented product and marketing organization. He will continue to be responsible for automotive sales, service and parts operations and marketing services.

Lutz, 55, will become president-operations. He will be responsible for all domestic manufacturing, car and truck development, product design and procurement and supply.

Both Lutz and Bidwell will report directly to Gerald Greenwald, chairman of Chrysler Motors.

The new organization, Chrysler Motor's International Operations, headed by Michael N. Hammes, vice president, will also report to Greenwald.

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