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Ex-VW exec named head of Fiat North America

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Filed under Automotive, Fiat, Ford, News, Volkswagen

She helped put together the 50th Anniversary Barbie New Beetle and is now in charge of reintroducing Fiat to the United States as they make a return after 25 years to the land of the free. Fiat’s return to North America is something several critics question? Do they think that they can do well in the car market that is already pretty saturated? Even though American car companies seem to be dying out, Fiat somehow thinks that they can do well here. I am sure they are not going to be as cheap as our local cars. They don’t seem to have better sales figures in Europe as compared to Toyota and Honda. I guess time will tell how they do in North America.

Soaves’ will have an official title as Head of the Fiat Brand for North America. That puts her in a very “high” position as she will answer directly to Servio Marchionne. Full Press Release below.

Press Release:

Chrysler Group Names Laura Soave to Lead Fiat Brand for North America

Auburn Hills, Mich., Mar 10, 2010 – Chrysler Group LLC today appointed Laura J. Soave to serve as the Head of the Fiat Brand for North America.

Soave will lead the reintroduction of the Fiat Brand in North America, beginning with the Fiat 500. She holds full profit and loss responsibility for the Fiat product portfolio in North America. In her position, Soave, who reports to Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Group, will work with the brand Presidents and industrial leads to fully integrate Fiat product into the marketing, sales, service and dealer network organizations.

“Laura joins Chrysler with extensive experience in automotive marketing,” said Marchionne. “Her rich background will serve as a springboard for reintroducing the Fiat brand when it takes to U.S. and Canadian roads this December after more than a 25-year absence. This truly iconic car exemplifies Italian style, technology and passion and, offers something more. The 500 heralds a new vision of technology’s role in sustainable mobility.”

Soave joins Chrysler Group from Volkswagen of America where she most recently was the General Manager of Experiential Marketing leading consumer marketing initiatives. While at VW, she also was the head of advertising and communications activities for all large passenger vehicles and SUVs. Prior to that, she worked at Ford Motor Company in a variety of positions including most recently as a Brand DNA Manager where she managed the repositioning of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands.

About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck, Mopar® and Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) brand vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler’s culture of innovation – first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925 – and Fiat’s complementary technology – from a company whose heritage dates back to 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group LLC’s product lineup features some of the world’s most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler and Ram Truck. Fiat will contribute world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

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