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Penske appoints Jill Lajdziak to run Smart USA hoping to stem sales collapse

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Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Smart

lajdziak-getty-headshot-250.jpgJust a few weeks ago, former Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak was hired by Penske Automotive to head sales and marketing for its Smart USA operations. Now, Smart has announced that Lajdziak will take over the entire operation as the new president of Smart USA, replacing Dave Schembri who has held the post since its inception.

In the past several months, sales of the Smart Fortwo have collapsed in the States, with November down 65 percent. From where we sit, Lajdziak has a tough job ahead of her, trying to find a way to convince buyers that a tiny but not inexpensive car with disappointing fuel economy and a horrible transmission is a good idea. To be fair, tilting at windmills is nothing new for Lajdziak, who worked at Saturn throughout its entire nearly twenty year run. Revamping the sales network will apparently be a big part of her job, since a revamped version of the Fortwo is not on the immediate horizon. You can check out the official press release after the jump.

[source: Smart USA]

Continue reading Penske appoints Jill Lajdziak to run Smart USA hoping to stem sales collapse

Penske appoints Jill Lajdziak to run Smart USA hoping to stem sales collapse originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Jan 2010 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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the econerds thought they were sliced bread.....the rest of the US does not want an unsafe, overpriced, inefficient, tin can.

smarts needs to dial back their size and operate on an extreme niche level.

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