Laura Soave, the head of the Fiat in North America, is leaving the company. Soave oversaw the return of Fiat in North America with 500. However flagging sales, slow dealer network expansion and marketing disasters (see Jeniffer Lopez ads) have cause Soave to leave.
Through October, Fiat has only sold 15,826 500s. A far cry from the 50,000 500s goal for 2011. The news is made even worse when Automotive News reports that 29 out of the 150 Fiat dealers didn't sell one 500 last month.
Soave's replacement is Timothy Kuniskis. Kuniskis previous position was Director of Product Marketing for Chrysler and Fiat.
Press Release is on Page 2
Chrysler Group Appoints Timothy Kuniskis Head of Fiat Brand for North America
November 21, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today named Timothy Kuniskis Head of the Fiat Brand for North America. Kuniskis most recently served as Director for both the Chrysler Brand and Fiat Brand Product Marketing. The move is effective immediately.
In his new role, Kuniskis is responsible for the Fiat Brand in North America which includes leadership for Fiat Brand sales, marketing, dealer network and service. He will continue the reintroduction of the iconic brand including its newest vehicle the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth.
"Tim brings broad expertise and leadership in dealer operations and marketing where he has been already working with the team to shape the direction of the Fiat Brand," said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO, Chrysler Group LLC. "As North American Head of Fiat, much of his immediate focus will be working with the dealer body where his fresh perspective from the operational side, as well as that on the commercial side, will begin the Fiat Brand's next chapter."
Kuniskis joined Chrysler in 1992 and since then has held a series of increasingly responsible positions in the Company's business center operations and marketing organization.
Laura Soave has left the Company and will pursue other interests