DaimlerChrysler said Monday it will set up five independent regional business centers, one of them in Southern California, to handle U.S. sales and service responsibilities previously directed from the Chrysler Group's national headquarters in Michigan.
"The restructuring of our field organization is being done in an effort to more directly service our dealers and their local markets" and to improve sales, profits and customer satisfaction levels, said Gary E. Dilts, Chrysler Group's senior vice president for sales.
The new system will place decision-making for everything from customer warranty service and sales-incentive programs to new-vehicle content packaging and parts distribution in the hands of the regional directors.
The company's 25 existing zone offices will remain in place but now will report to the appropriate regional centers, said DaimlerChrysler spokesman Marc Henretta.
The Los Angeles Regional Business Center, to be opened in Irvine next month, will have about 20 employees--all from other Chrysler Group offices--and will be headed by Steve Shugg, former Western regional sales and service manager and 1999-2000 president of DaimlerChrysler Australia.