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Laura Soave, Fiat’s U.S. Brand Boss Ousted

Falls victim to sluggish sales.

by on Nov.22, 2011

Former Fiat marketing chief Laura Soave with the 500C during its New York Auto Show launch in April.

Automotive veteran Laura Soave has been forced out of her post as head of Fiat in the U.S. as the Chrysler Group LLC shook up the marketing effort behind the tiny Fiat 500 which has been suffering from sluggish sales since its public launch late last year.

Timothy Kuniskis, a veteran Chrysler Group marketing executive, was named to head of the Fiat Brand for North America, replacing Soave, who led the return of the Fiat brand for nearly two years. Soave, a veteran of top marketing jobs at both Volkswagen and GM “left the company to pursue other interests,” Chrysler said in a statement.

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In his new role, Kuniskis, will serve as Director for both the Chrysler Brand and Fiat Brand Product Marketing. That includes managing Fiat Brand sales, marketing, dealer network and service.

“Tim brings broad expertise and leadership in dealer operations and marketing where he has been already working with the team to shape the direction of the Fiat Brand,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO, Chrysler Group LLC, who personally made the announcement of the change in management.