Stellantis appoints new engineering, quality leaders

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Jeep maker Stellantis NV has announced the immediate appointment of new leaders of its engineering technical centers and customer experience in North America.

Mark Champine has been named head of North America engineering technical centers  for Stellantis NV.

Mark Champine, who previously oversaw quality-improvement activities at the company, will lead up the engineering technical centers and key product development initiatives. David McDonald, director of vehicle assembly quality, will succeed him in customer experience.

Champine replaces Jessica Lafond, who has left the company to pursue opportunities outside the auto industry, according to Stellantis.

The leadership changes come as Stellantis seeks to electrify its lineup and find cost savings to make up for the increased costs of electric vehicles over their gas- and diesel-powered counterparts. CEO Carlos Tavares has highlighted efforts to improve quality as part of that, though the automaker has hit some challenges like competitors with rollouts of new technology and amid supply-chain snags plaguing the industry.

David McDonald was appointed Stellantis NV's head of customer experience in North America.

“Mark and David bring intensity and a wealth of engineering discipline to these core functions," Mark Stewart, chief operating officer in North America, said in a statement, "as we lean into our Dare Forward plan and its promise of transforming Stellantis into a sustainable mobility tech company."

Champine, who joined the company in 1996, will direct the region’s engineering resources to ensure vehicle and technology launches stay on time. He reports to Chief Engineering Officer Harald Wester. McDonald, who's been with the company since 1993, reports to Stewart. He supervised key aspects of vehicle production in two previous assignments and was chief engineer for the L-platform full-size cars like the Chrysler 300 sedan and for the Jeep Grand Cherokee from 2013 to 2016.

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble