February 12, 2008 , Windsor, Ontario -

Students from Georgian College's Canadian Automotive Institute and Centre for Automotive Parts Expertise will discuss their craft with one of the most successful designers in the automotive industry at a private session held on the eve of the Toronto Auto show.

Montreal-area native Ralph Gilles is the lead designer behind Chrysler's award winning Chrysler 300. He will discuss the styling features of his newest production model, the 2009 Dodge Ram, which will make its Canadian debut on Wednesday. Dodge Ram is Canada's 5th-best selling vehicle and will be in showrooms later this year.

"I'm looking forward to this discussion," said Gilles, Vice President - Jeep®, Truck, Advance Interior and Component Design, Chrysler LLC. "It is not that long ago that I was a student of design hoping to draw for a living. This will be a chance to really talk about car design and hear the fresh thoughts of the students."

"This is a great opportunity for our students," said Robert Emptage, Dean - Engineering Technology and The Centre for Automotive Parts Expertise. "The students in our programs are just crazy about cars and we provide a setting and seek out opportunities like this one to help them grow into their careers."

Gilles and the students will discuss how well the Chrysler design team reached their mandate of designing an evolutionary truck design.

In 1994 Dodge created an icon in pickup truck design with the introduction of the now-famous “big rig” styling of the Ram. With the current introduction of the 2009 Ram, that bold styling is taken to the next level. 

“The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram doesn't just push the envelope in truck design—it shoves it aside and reinvents it,” said Gilles. “We wanted to design a game-changer, a truck that takes Dodge’s bold, powerful and capable attributes to a new level.”

The student forum will be held on Tuesday evening on the site of a pre-auto show media reception on the night before Chrysler shows the-new, Brampton-built 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 for the first time in Canada. Chrysler President and CEO Reid Bigland and Gilles will also give members of the media an up-close look at a new model that is expected to be a popular model in Canada, the 2009 Dodge Journey, a seven passenger cross-over vehicle that will be available next month.

CIAS will open to the public on Friday, February 15th. More information is available at www.autoshow.ca