Fiat-Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has completed the merger of the two companies by naming a 22-member team to manage the Italian-American carmaker from 1 September.

This new team, a group executive council (GEC), replaces the two 25-strong Fiat and Chrysler management teams and is dominated by Italians.

“We have now reached the right moment to step on the accelerator of Fiat-Chrysler integration,” said CEO Marchionne in a statement.

Fiat said it was similar to the one that managed Fiat SpA until the demerger of the Fiat Industrial activities.

The GEC is responsible for reviewing the operating performance of the businesses, setting performance targets, making key strategic decisions and investments for the group and sharing best practices, including the development and deployment of key human resources, the automaker said. 

It will have four regional groups for car manufacturing and sales, plus parts and service (MOPAR), automotive components (mainly Magneti Marelli) and systems and castings (Teksid and Comau). Each will have its own chief operating officer reporting directly to Marchionne who takes on responsibility for the NAFTA region, including Chrysler.

Gianni Coda will run Europe, Africa and the Middle East; Michael Manley takes on Asia and responsibility for the Jeep brand while Cledorvino Belini will run Latin America.  

Brand heads are: Fiat – Olivier Francois; commercial vehicles – Lorenzo Sistino; Alfa, Abarth and Maserati – Harald Wester; Lancia and Chrysler – Saad Chehab; Dodge – Reid Bigland. They will be supported by a chief creative officer, also Olivier François.

Francois was previously CEO of the Chrysler brand, Chrysler’s chief marketing officer (also responsible for the Dodge, Jeep and Ram [truck] brands) and was also CEO of Lancia in Europe.

After 15 months at Chrysler, he was gaining a reputation among ad agencies, dealers and staff for surprising them and taking the kinds of risks that make them feel more confident than they ever did while owned by Daimler or Cerberus Capital, Advertising Age noted in an article last February.

A key achievement was a two-minute, US$9m Super Bowl ad, featuring rap star Eminem, to launch a new strategy and tagline around the Chrysler brand: “Imported From Detroit”.

That was credited with prompting a huge increase in sales of the new Chrysler 200, a major update of the lacklustre Sebring.

Additional reporting: Graeme Roberts

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