Chrysler Group LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat SpA, has moved to appoint its US sales chief as leader of the renascent Alfa Romeo brand in North America.
Reid Bigland, 47, started working for Chrysler in 2006, leading the automaker’s Canadian operations – a position he still holds, besides being the US sales chief as well. He does give away some of its attributes, relinquishing the title of Ram trucks CEO. Robert Hegbloom, also a member of the company’s North American leadership team (together with Bigland), follows him in that position.
“Both Reid and Bob have grown tremendously as leaders in the last five years, and the time has come for them to have expanded leadership roles,” said in a statement Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of both Fiat and Chrysler.
Bigland will have some high expectations to fulfill in his new leadership role – Alfa Romeo for once has not been present on US soil since 1996 – a 19 years hiatus that could prove difficult to surpass. Also, Marchionne has set really ambitious sales targets for the brand, aiming to lift sales from zero to no less than 150,000 units annually by 2018. The process could also be hindered by the fact that at launch the brand will only have one model – the 4c roadster, a niche sports car.