The Charlton Group, Inc. provides superior representation and project management support for a global network of clients in North American, European and Asia Pacific markets.

Since its inception in 1978, the company is the sales liaison of choice for worldwide manufacturers that supply products for some of the world's largest automotive groups



Humble Beginnings

Working during the day as a traveling salesman for Burroughs in Detroit, and bartending at night at the Cave Bar on Warren and Mt. Elliot, Chris Charlton spent his first year out of school in 1977 trying to make ends meet and pay back his student loans. When his father, RL, saw potential in a booming automotive industry, Chris was eager to discover his niche. 

One Smart Deal Can Change Everything

In 1978 RL introduced Chris to AMG Industries, a high quality fabricator of precision metal components. With AMG's rich family history and impressive capabilities paired with Chris's aptitude for sales and desire to succeed, it was an ideal partnership. In July of 1978 the Charlton Group was formed with a sole client, AMG Industries and was secured with only a handshake. AMG and the Charlton group are still working together to this day- almost 40 years later with loyalty, trust, and great success.

Robert Leonard Charlton [1931-2009] our inspiration, leader and a friend to all.  Without his guidance our company would never exist.  This photo was taken prior to the establishment of the Charlton Group during his career in Radio.

Global Reach

Since then, the Charlton Group has expanded our global reach to five continents. We uncover new opportunities and guide clients to successful supply of vital base components for OEM automotive companies and automotive tier-level manufacturers in major markets on every continent.

Our highly skilled, well-trained sales force understands the needs of business, engineering and manufacturing. Charlton provides technical sales, program management, product quality planning, warehousing and distribution along with engineering, design, solid modeling and strategic support with new global facilities and acquisitions. Our mission is to serve our clients everywhere and in every way. 


CT Charlton

CT Charlton currently serves as the President of the Charlton Group.  Leaving a career in finance to officially join the Charlton team in 2011, CT was responsible for starting the industrial division which has been an area of steady growth and diversification across all business units.  Over the following 10 years, CT has held roles in Chicago and Seattle before moving to the Detroit area in 2020.  Under CT’s leadership, the company has grown significantly expanding heavily into connected vehicle, ADAS, and autonomy.  He has put extensive effort into growing his outstanding teams in Europe and North America, enjoying record profits each year driven by thoughtful partnerships and investing back into the businesses Charlton believes in.

CT is an avid pilot and enjoys getting up in the air for business and for pleasure.  When not in the office he can usually be found in the water or the snow and almost always with his wife and 3 kids.


Christopher T. Charlton is the Chairman and Founder of The Charlton Group.

He is a graduate of Michigan State University, the father of two children, and an avid sportsman, including high-level tennis and a Black Belt in Martial Arts. Chris is a bible study participant, former President of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and benefactor of The Mayo Clinic, including endowments to the Charlton Building in Rochester, Minnesota. He is a significant donor to Michigan State University, recently funding the Christopher and Kristen Charlton Café located in the Eli Broad College of Business. Chris is an investor and Advisory Board member of Dura, Shiloh, Mobex, GRC, Luminar, and AGP.

Chris believes collaborating through an extended global enterprise has created some of his closest and longest-lasting relationships. He finds joy in creating sustainable businesses. His consistent approach has led to significant investments in global automotive manufacturing organizations. Beyond automotive, Charlton has diversified into energy with major investments that include 2.8 billion tons of iron ore, oil and gas wells, and non-automotive industrial initiatives as well as real estate.

Executive Advisory Team

Franz Linner Franz joined the Charlton Group in August 2018 as an executive Technology Advisor.  He began his career at Siemens Semiconductors and is now in his 33rd year with the BMW Group as Senior Vice President Supplier Network Americas.  Franz is an energetic achiever, leading strategic market launches and accelerates global supplier developments for international success. Franz is married and has two children.

deepak nagaraja

Deepak Nagaraja is Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain at Magna and represents Magna on many JV boards.  Before his tenure at Magna, Deepak held positions with Ford, Boeing, and Allied Signal Aerospace. Deepak holds a BE in Mechanical Engineering from the RV College of Engineering, Bangalore, India, and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

heinz preissler

Heinz Preissler joined BMW in 1969 and is the President and CEO of BMW-Brilliance China.  He was a member of the Board of Directors of the German Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and a member of the Board of Directors of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in China.

Wayne Morrison is Vice President in the Industrial Division, handling the Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota markets. He has 25 years of experience in the off-highway market, as Vice President for Kohler Engines and Director of the Commercial Industrial Division for Briggs & Stratton. Wayne is married with six children and enjoys tennis, golf, and downhill skiing.

Tonya Krause is Vice President in the automotive division based in Detroit.  She has worked in the automotive industry for over 25 years, previously with BASF Heavy-Duty Diesel and Adient seating.  Tonya holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri-Rolla in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Education for Secondary Mathematics and Physics from Eastern Michigan University. She is married with two sons, Thomas and Wesley, and enjoys spending time traveling with her family.

Wayne A. Coulman Jr. is Vice President of Business Development with over ten years of automotive experience.  Before joining Charlton, Wayne was the Senior Executive at an Engineering Service Firm, where he shepherded and grew the  General Motors program from the ground up. Winning the Top Diverse Supplier at General Motors in 2015 is a testament to his achievement. Wayne's ability to foster high-level relationships across automotive and non-automotive sectors is one of the keys to Charlton's success. He holds a degree from Mott Community College, and married with two children, Kai and Paisley. Wayne's interests include hunting, sporting clays, golf, bodybuilding, cars, and martial arts.

Kevin Fromm

Kevin Fromm is the Vice President of the European Division, with nearly 30 years of experience in automotive, heavy trucks, and commercial vehicles in a variety of products and technologies. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy. He is married with two children, enjoys soccer, golf, running, painting, readings, and community volunteering. 

Shusaku Maruko

Shusaku Maruko is the President of Charlton Asia.  His professional background includes serving as an engineer at Sony Corporation, Etak Inc., and as a board member of FeliCa. Shusaku currently serves as Executive Director and board member of U-shin Ltd.  He is married with a son, enjoys sports, and runs marathons.



Our offices are strategically located on 4 continents next to every major manufacturer.  We are constantly adding new staff and entering new markets.  If there is a location you need that isn't listed above, just ask.  Odds are we already have something in the works.

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