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Ex-Volkswagen and Ford executive Laura Soave has gone from creating the events that help sell cars to being the one in charge of selling them. Yes, Fiat has named Soave, the woman who helped put together the 50th Anniversary Barbie New Beetle in charge of reintroducing the Fiat brand to the United States after retreating from North America's shores more than 25 years ago. Of course, Soave, 37, has also done more substantive things, including being VW's head of advertising and communications for the company's large(ish) passenger cars and SUVs. At Ford, Soave held down various positions, including "Brand DNA Manager."
Soaves' official title as Head of the Fiat Brand for North America not only installs her at the top of the pyramid, it puts her name on the profit-and-loss bottom line and has her answering directly to Sergio Marchionne. You can read Fiat's press release after the jump.

[Source: Chrysler]
Show full PR text
Chrysler Group Names Laura Soave to Lead Fiat Brand for North America

Auburn Hills, Mich., Mar 10, 2010 - Chrysler Group LLC today appointed Laura J. Soave to serve as the Head of the Fiat Brand for North America.

Soave will lead the reintroduction of the Fiat Brand in North America, beginning with the Fiat 500. She holds full profit and loss responsibility for the Fiat product portfolio in North America. In her position, Soave, who reports to Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Group, will work with the brand Presidents and industrial leads to fully integrate Fiat product into the marketing, sales, service and dealer network organizations.

"Laura joins Chrysler with extensive experience in automotive marketing," said Marchionne. "Her rich background will serve as a springboard for reintroducing the Fiat brand when it takes to U.S. and Canadian roads this December after more than a 25-year absence. This truly iconic car exemplifies Italian style, technology and passion and, offers something more. The 500 heralds a new vision of technology's role in sustainable mobility."

Soave joins Chrysler Group from Volkswagen of America where she most recently was the General Manager of Experiential Marketing leading consumer marketing initiatives. While at VW, she also was the head of advertising and communications activities for all large passenger vehicles and SUVs. Prior to that, she worked at Ford Motor Company in a variety of positions including most recently as a Brand DNA Manager where she managed the repositioning of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands.

About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck, Mopar® and Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) brand vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler's culture of innovation – first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925 – and Fiat's complementary technology – from a company whose heritage dates back to 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group LLC's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler and Ram Truck. Fiat will contribute world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      A proud day for women everywhere.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Justin...Again, why should it be a proud moment for people who were not involved? Second, that's a vary racist comment. He's mixed race, so white people should be just as proud as black people.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lol burned,

        also hey lady!
        Where's my fiat 500? Pull it out of the oven already I'm starving.

        I kid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sean, your comment " Ralph Gilles is a Haitian American and he is in charge of Dodge." is a stupid reference and incorrect. Ralph is Canadian, (although I don't know his specifics but he may have dual citizenship, either Haitian or American - which is allowed in Canada)

        That being said I think we are past the point of patting someone on the back because they are of a certain race or colour, or come from a certain country. Ralph has talent as a human being, plain and simple.

        Lets cheer for Sergio because he came from an immigrant family in Canada, overcame obstacles to get to the top of a company, oh wait, he's white and a man, so lets not...

        How about we cheer for Laura after she launches the 500 (and I wish her all the best in achieving that) If she is successful then she will have opportunities for better roles, it should not be because she is a woman.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Re: Apex, great post! +1.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i'm sorry, but is this the mother that held back such GREAT cars as the Ford Focus RS and the VW Scirocco from coming to the USA?? Somehow, I'm glad she's out of those companies, but COME ON BRING US SOME GOOD CARS NOW!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The year 2001, November in Alaska, where sending cars back are not possible,Neither is getting one fixed, Band new 2001 JEEP Grand Cherokee, Patriotic Blue, ten CD changer,and 19 miles on it! Brake Failure after brake failure, Check the BBB in Eastern Michigan... it would not be hard to find...Its the one with TWO Chrysler products that were in my book lemons...Maybe it would be hard to find with all the mess-ups at Chrysler's Jeep and Dodge vehicle recalls and now bailout, I must question your self, the worst ten years of my life... They will be at the bottom of my list from here on out, and will always get this free advertising! Good luck!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think she is Indian, the name and surname are Italian.
      She looks like Italian too
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want to meet her.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's quite an achievement for a 37 year old
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am thinking the same thing. I wonder how many di............ never mind.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Obviously, they were looking for someone who has experience but I think they should have looked for someone whos actually very very good at what he/she does (that rundown doesnt look very impressive). I hope shes less of a muppet to push around and more of someone thats actually going to innovate and make the brand look interesting.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Of course, Soave, 37, has also done more substantive things, including being VW's head of advertising and communications for the company's large(ish) passenger cars and SUVs. At Ford, Soave held down various positions, including "Brand DNA Manager.""----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Seems like her background is marketing, but that's not why Dodge and Chrysler do not sell well. They sell poorly because their cars suck in terms of looks and they suck gas. They need an engineer who KNOWS what he is doing or a car guy who can give people good looking, affordable, efficient cars that have great interiors. Some one who can improve Challenger's fuel economy, interior, output, safety features, while keeping the price point where it is now.

      Chrysler needs to hire whoever is in charge of Hyundai Sonata.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kyle said "ur an idiot. If you don't know what you're talking about don't try to call someone else out. Fiat partnered with Chrysler of u didn't have your head up your ass for the past 18 months.

        Whose the tard now?"
        I would say you are firmly in the 'tard category

        - Yes, we all know Fiat and Chrysler are together, and that she will be an employee of Chrysler Group; however, that does not change the fact that she will have nothing at all to do with the Chrysler or Dodge brands. She is only responsible for Fiat in NA. She is no more responsible for Dodge than she is for Maserati.

        Also, I often find the use of "ur" rather than "you're" and "u" rather than "you" a valuable time saving strategy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Epyx... ur an idiot. If you don't know what you're talking about don't try to call someone else out. Fiat partnered with Chrysler of u didn't have your head up your ass for the past 18 months.

        Whose the tard now?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Epyx

        Well... he is a Sea Urchin, which is really just a slug that lives in the ocean. Can't expect much.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your are a re-tard----opps sorry...r-word.

        "Head of the Fiat Brand for North America."

        "...in charge of reintroducing the Fiat brand to the United States after retreating from North America's shores more than 25 years ago"

        How do you get Chrysler out of that?

        That being said, everything you wrote about Chrysler is correct, but that is not her problem.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think this is strictly a FIAT brand thing. Chrysler probably gets platform prostitution as a temporary safety rope and much more radical decisions in the long run (so theyll need different people for that).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or they could cut out the middle man and just copy the Honda Accord.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Agree with the appointment and the target market....Sorry Abarth fans, but the 500 will be the next couture accessory here in the states. If the vehicle produces better than a 90-10 female/male buyer ratio, Fiat can consider it a win.
      • 5 Years Ago
      shes hot!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Absolutely. Is she Italian? Bet she has a great accent. Mmmmm...
        • 5 Years Ago
        She may have same Italian heritage (I have no idea) but dont expect anything other than a Michigan accent.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Amazing rise to such a position for someone so relatively young. Especially considering she does not have a exclusive educational background (BA,Walsh College and MBA, University of Detroit). Looks like she earned her way on merit and not pedigree, impressive!

      Enough to make one depressed.

      oh...and Autoblog...was the Barbie quip really needed?
        • 5 Years Ago
        RE: the barbie comment

        That's bush. Bush league. You hear me? Audrey! Look at me! I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Alright?
        • 5 Years Ago
        ....depressed because I am only 5 years younger, went to better schools and I am no where near having such a cool job.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sergio and Soave don't have a clue about the American car business. Why is she head of Fiat of America. What is Fiat of America anyway, why is it necessary. Fiat is supposed to be the head of Chrysler, why is it necessary to divide? Chrysler spent the last 25 years learning how to make products nobody wanted, delivered to dealers that disliked their customers, and hiring executives that acted like they hated cars. They almost made Mercedes take a crap and they were bigger and stronger than Fiat will ever be. I just want a 500 with the max HP possible but I fear one built in USA or Mexico won't serve as well as the european ones do. So I wonder if the car were legal here if I could bring one over from europe and excape all the governmental bull crap.
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