AUBURN HILLS—Jason Vines, who was senior public relations executive at Ford Motor Company under Jac Nasser, is returning to the corporate realm as vice president of communications at The Chrysler Group. He replaces Kenneth Levy, who is leaving the company after three years as the head of communications in order to start his own public relations and communications consulting business in New York.
Vines, who was most recently head of the Detroit operations for automotive and public affairs specialist [email protected], will report to Chrysler Group president and CEO Dieter Zetsche.
“Jason Vines has a proven track record of being in the forefront of creative communications in our industry, and we are very pleased that he is joining our executive team,” said Zetsche. “We will be counting on his leadership of our communications efforts going forward, as we launch nine new products in 2004.”
Levy, 55, has been in public relations and communications in the international auto industry since 1977. He joined DaimlerChrysler as Chrysler Group’s vice president of communications in November 2000, during a shake-up that followed the company’s acquisition by DaimlerBenz. He had held European PR positions with Ford and General Motors.
Vines is a 20-year automotive industry veteran who first joined Chrysler in 1983. He held several labor relations and communications positions, including serving as head of product and brand public relations, before leaving the company in 1998 to become vice president of public relations and later vice president of external affairs in charge of public relations and government affairs for Nissan North America. He joined Ford Motor Company in February 2000 as vice president of communications.
He will return to Chrysler at a difficult time for the company. Its turnaround plan has been proceeding slowly in the face of a fierce price war, and the company faces a $1.2 billion suit by billionaire ex-shareholder Kirk Kerkorian, who claims investors were lied to by Daimler management during the takeover.