Chrysler Group has tapped Reid Bigland to lead the return of Alfa Romeo in the United States, as marked by the launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car in the country. Bigland served previously as head of Chrysler’s Ram brand. Replacing him as Ram is Robert Hegbloom, Chrysler said today in a statement.
Bigland is still expected to fulfill his roles as chief of Chrysler’s sales in the US and chief executive of Chrysler Canada.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in the statement that Bigland’s appointment at Alfa Romeo indicate of how committed Fiat Chrysler is to the establishment of this brand in North America, a process commenced with the launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C.
He said that they expect much more from Alfa Romeo in the next few years, as outlined in the five-year plan presented on May 6, 2014. He added that Bigland’s seniority and experience are ideal for the significant task underway.
Alfa Romeo pulled out from the US in 1995, just when the 164 sports sedan reached the end of its production run. In May, Marchionne disclosed that Fiat Chrysler will spend $6.9 billion (EUR5 billion) to revamp Alfa’s lineup, while position it as a rival to BMW, Audi, Cadillac and other sporty luxury brands. In 2013, Alfa sold just 74,000 cars around the world.
Marchionne wants Alfa to sell 400,000 vehicles globally by 2018, with the US as one of the major markets. Alfa will introduce a new midsize sports sedan in the US by 2016, while seven other new models will be rolled up in the duration of the five-year plan. [source: Chrysler]