Fiat Auto’s new head Herbert Demel has launched a personnel shake-up at the troubled Italian automaker. He has ousted Fiat’s top executives in Germany and France and changes will soon follow to the company’s management structure in the UK, Spain and Italy.

According to Automotive News Europe, Demel has created the new position of market general manager for each of the company’s major markets and these new market bosses will report directly to him. Previously Fiat’s chief executives in each country had reported to the heads of their respective business units in Turin.

Demel, who took over Fiat Auto in November last year, has tightened his grip on Fiat’s operations in each major market through the shakeup. Demel says in an internal document that the changes are being made to improve “brand focalisation” and to ensure more effective co-ordination.

The new organisational model will be implemented first in France and Germany then extended to other major markets, says the document.

Fiat’s market chiefs in Germany and France have already been replaced.

Fiat says Klaus Fricke, the company’s German head, and Jean Margerie, the French boss, left by mutual agreement. Sources say the executives were asked to resign.

Fiat’s new commercial structure closely resembles the VW Group’s new marketing arrangement. When Robert Buchelhofer, VW’s central sales and marketing director, retired last April his post was scrapped.

The heads of VW group subsidiaries in the main European markets, plus North America, report directly to VW group CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder.