Reid Bigland, who is responsible for the U.S. sales of Chrysler Group LLC, will attempt to duplicate the gains he achieved in Canada for the automaker. Bigland, who was named to this new job last June, had made great strides in Canada, where Chrysler has nearly matched the sales figures of the No. 2 automaker and whose market-share targets for 2014 have already been surpassed.
Bigland retained his role as chief executive of Canada operations and has additional oversight of the Dodge brand.
Sales in Canada posted a 26% gain last year while it has so far recorded a 13% increase this year. Bill Johnston, a Chrysler franchise owner and dealer council president in Canada, said that Bigland will bring what he’s done in Canada to the U.S. In particular, Johnston believes that what Bigland brings is “aggressiveness.” Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat S.p.A., wants Chrysler U.S. sales to increase by 45% in 2011.
The rate of Chrysler’s climb through July is lower than the target. Bigland took over as the head of U.S. sales as Chrysler is preparing to bring a new small car derived from Fiat technology to showrooms next year.
Autodata Corp. said that Chrysler U.S. sales this year through July increased by 21% compared with last year. Its market share increased to 10.2% in that time from 9.3% a year ago. Under Marchionne’s November 2009 business plan, Chrysler is expected to have a market share in the U.S. of more than 13% in 2014.