The development comes amidst flagging sales for the Fiat brand in America. The introduction of the awkward-looking 500L multi-purpose vehicle has been largely regarded as a sales disaster in the US. Despite having just introduced the new 500X into the growing crossover market, and an overall upward trend across FCA group sales, the Fiat brand's figures have been dropping all year. While the Italian brand's volume has fluctuated from month to month compared to last year's sales, the number of cars its dealers sells on an average day has been firmly in decline.
Fiat's downward trend reflects a general tendency in the market towards larger vehicles at the expense of smaller ones. However, the powers that be in Auburn Hills evidently felt that a change of leadership was in order, so it placed Dodge chief Tim Kuniskis in charge of all the company's mass-market passenger-car brands – namely Dodge, Chrysler, and Fiat – and moved Stoicevich to running the group's fleet and small-business operations. Stoicevich remained in charge of the company's California Business Center, but it seems as though he was as dissatisfied with the switch as his superiors were with the performance of the brand over which he presided, and so he apparently elected to step down and leave the company.