Reid Bigland appointed CEO of Alfa Romeo, Maserati

Former CEO Harald Wester retains role as FCA's tech boss.

There's been a big shakeup in Fiat Chrysler's leadership team, as head of US sales and FCA Canada CEO Reid Bigland will replace Harald Wester as the chief exec for Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Wester will retain his position as chief technical officer of FCA. Both men will hang onto their positions on FCA's Group Executive Council.

The move is an interesting one considering the widely publicized issues at both Alfa and Maserati. Alfa Romeo's problems are almost too many to list. The brand has promised a full-scale return to the US market for more than a decade, but faced repeated delays. Its latest volume model, the Giulia, is being savaged by reviewers over quality issues, and the company has frequently pushed its upcoming CUV back. If that were the only problem, it'd be annoying, but according to Automotive News, Alfa's relaunch is also considerably over budget.

Maserati is an entirely different can of worms. Alongside Alfa, it's been stung by a slow Chinese market. Profits are down, according to Automotive News, and it's been widely rumored that the company will delay its next sports car, the Alfieri, until 2018it was previously promised for this year. Meanwhile, two of its three other models, the Quattroporte and GranTurismo, are dangerously long in the tooth, and the Levante is still months away from US sales.

Can Bigland sort these issues out? Maybe. As Sergio Marchionne said in his official statement, "[Bigland] has an extraordinary record of growing sales and market share in the US and Canada over the last 7 years at FCA, including leading the growth and positioning of the Ram and Dodge brands for part of that time."

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