Fiat India on Saturday appointed Giovanni De Filippis as the company’s new managing director after the sudden departure of Paulo Castagna, The Hindustan Times reported on its website.

The paper noted that Filippis arrived days after the company signed an MOU with Tata Motors to consider co-operating to develop and make cars.

According to the report, Filippis joined Fiat in 1992 as production manager at the Pomigliano d’Arco plant. From 1996 to 2001, he was Fiat’s chief representative in Egypt and then moved to the Fiat Auto business development department.

He was also involved in negotiations with Tata.

“The appointment of Filippis as managing director of Fiat India has to be seen within the framework of a consistent strategy by Fiat that is currently engaged in negotiations with Tata Motors. He has been involved in such negotiations. Therefore, it’s natural that he be entrusted with the responsibility of Fiat operations in India,” a company spokesperson told the newspaper.