Fiat’s chief of sales, Andrea Formica, resigns

Article by Christian A., on August 31, 2011

Andrea Formica, Fiat S.p.A.’s chief of sales in its European region, has left the company. It has been less than a year since he had moved from Toyota Motor Europe in order to assist the struggling automotive division of the company.

According to a spokesperson for Fiat in an interview with Automotive News Europe, the departure of Formica was by mutual agreement with the company. However, the spokesperson did not provide details.

In addition, Formica’s departure came one month after he was removed from being the chief executive officer of the Fiat brand. Formica was named as the CEO of Fiat passenger-car brand in September 2009. At that time, Formica was also named to lead Chrysler’s sales in Europe. He took over from Lorenzo Sistino as Fiat brand CEO and as head of sales at the Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat car and Fiat light commercial vehicle brands.

Last July, Olivier Francois was named as the new CEO after previously serving with the same position for Lancia-Chrysler as well as marketing communication boss for Chrysler and Fiat.

According to sources, Fiat will name Lorenzo Sistino as the European sales chief again. Sistino held the position prior to Formica, in addition to being the CEO of Fiat Professional, which is the light commercial vehicle division of the company. Moreover, Sistino was sales boss at the Fiat Professional, Fiat car, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands from January 2009 to October 2010.

With the new role, he will be leading the European sales for Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep. According to insider reports, Fiat's European aftersales boss Diego Pistone will take over Formica's role as head of dealer development.

The company refused to make a comment on the changes in the management as it intends to reveal its new organization in Europe after members of its newly appointed Group Executive Council meet for the first time on September 1 and 2 in Turin.

Sergio Marchionne, who is Fiat-Chrysler CEO, confirmed the creation of the 22-member council last July 28. The members will manage the Fiat-Chrysler alliance in moving toward a full merger of the two automakers.

In 2010, Fiat S.p.A.’s unit-sales bright spots were its Brazilian unit, its Alfa Romeo brand and its light commercial vehicle vehicles. Despite this, the Italian saw its overall sales drop 3.2 percent to 2,082,000 units in 2010.

Alfa Romeo saw its sales jump 10.2 percent in 2010 to 112,000 units, as helped by the introduction of the Giulietta compact hatchback. In the same year, the Fiat Professional LCV unit increased its sales by 27.1 percent to 390,000 units. Meanwhile, Fiat saw its sales in Brazil leap 1.6 percent in 2010 to 761,000 units. Brazil was Fiat’s largest single market for the second straight year.

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