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Lajdziak Leaves Saturn for Smart USA

New VP must reverse plummeting sales.

by on Dec.09, 2009

Former Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak will join the smart car organization. She's shown here in January 2008 accepting an award for the Saturn Aura.

Former Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak will join the smart car organization. She's shown here in January 2008 accepting the North American Car of the Year award for the Saturn Aura.

Jill Lajdziak, the former head of GM’s Saturn unit, is joining smart USA as executive vice president of sales and marketing – and the point person in the brand’s bid to reverse a devastating sales slump.

After scoring a big boost in 2008, much of it driven by record gas prices, smart, a division of Germany’s Daimler AG, has experienced an unanticipated slide prompting questions about the brand’s long-term viability in the U.S. market – even as other makers push into the small and urban commuter market segments.

A smart Choice!

A smart Choice!

“I am pleased that Jill has accepted our invitation to join smart as we enhance the position of the smart brand,” said Roger Penske, PAG Chairman and a well-known Detroit-based entrepreneur. “With her background building the Saturn organization and her expertise in customer satisfaction, product marketing, and brand development, Jill is an outstanding fit, and I am confident that she will help us grow the smart brand” Penske said.

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