Francois Castaing, engineering ace in the back of Chrysler’s Nineties hits, dies at 78

BE desk

Paul Wilbur, a product planner who labored with Castaing at the cab-forward LH vehicles — the Chrysler Concorde, Eagle Optical and Dodge Intrepid — that debuted in 1993, mentioned the platform workforce manner modified the whole lot. “The whole company was split from chimneys and silos into platform teams, and it was really revolutionary,” mentioned Wilbur.

“I remember very vividly talking about line rates with manufacturing guys and color choices and how many colors we should have. These were discussions that typically product planning and marketing wouldn’t have … with manufacturing,” Wilbur mentioned.

“Between Lutz, Gale and Castaing, Chrysler would not have been the same without one of the three. It took all three to make legendary greatness,” mentioned Wilbur.

Any other Nineties Chrysler government, Bud Liebler, head of selling and communications, mentioned Castaing’s fat French pronunciation didn’t hinder his skill to get issues carried out.

“He was ambitious, hardworking, aggressive and strong. When he had something to say, he said it loud and clear. He didn’t care who was bothered by it,” Liebler mentioned. “He caught Lee Iacocca’s eye pretty fast. Castaing was probably the main guy setting up the platform teams, a huge innovation for the industry.”

Castaing, together with many alternative executives, didn’t stick round for the DaimlerChrysler merger in 1998. Nearest he retired, Castaing’s love of engineering and racing by no means waned. He raised round $30 million to rebuild the Detroit Science Middle and served on diverse company forums as smartly the board of FIRST, the highschool robotics pageant based through inventor Dean Kamen.

He was once inducted into the Automobile Corridor of Repute in 2010.

As the brand prepares to kick off its low-cost EV offensive, Kia’s cheapest EV2, starting…

After a week of incredible e-bike deals and special pre-order discounts, you’d think there wouldn’t…

EV brand ZEEKR has unveiled a new ultra-luxe version of its existing 009 multi-purpose vehicle…