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Marchionne Puts Bigland in Charge of Alfa Romeo

Appointment reflects CEO’s desire to see brand succeed.

by on Aug.18, 2014

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne put Reid Bigland, right, in charge of Alfa Romeo today.

Sergio Marchionne has been telling everyone who will listen for several months now that he’s serious about Alfa Romeo’s success. Today he proved it by putting Reid Bigland, formerly head of Ram Trucks, in charge of the brand.

He will continue as Head of U.S. Sales and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Canada and the Fiat Chrysler Group Executive Council. Bigland will be replaced at Ram Trucks by Robert Hegbloom, who will also become a member of the NAFTA Leadership Team. Both appointments are effective immediately.

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Bigland’s appointment underscores the importance Chrysler CEO Marchionne places on expanding the reach of the Alfa Romeo brand in the luxury segment around the world, which is expected to expand in the years to come. However, Alfa Romeo has only a limited presence in the U.S. now. (more…)

FCA Outgrows Competition in North America

Looks for sales to rise by 1 million units by 2018.

by on May.06, 2014

Chrysler is looking to make inroads into the competitive midsize market segment with the news 2015 Chrysler 200.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has grown faster than its rivals in North America and plans to expand sales by more than 48% during the next five years as its key brands continue to reach more consumers in U.S., Canada and Mexico.

FCA is betting that the NAFTA region will experience consistent growth over the next five years, reaching 18.7 million units in 2018 thanks to moderate economic growth, positive job outlook and efficient credit markets, noted Reid Bigland, head of sales for the Chrysler Group. In addition, the age of the vehicle fleet in North America continues to rise as consumer confidence improves, he said.

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Sergio Marchionne, FCA chief executive officer, said the company has laid down an optimistic expansion of its business across North America. Sales are expected to jump 1 million more cars in 2018 than it did in 2013 when it sold 2.1 million vehicles. Chrysler sales should increase to 2.9 million units, while sales of Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari will reach 200,000 units, Marchionne said. (more…)

Chrysler Taking Aim at 2 Million Sales Target

Auto leaders expect industry sales in 16-million range.

by on Jan.17, 2014

Brand CEO Reid Bigland said Chrysler is aiming to blow past 2 million in sales in 2014.

Chrysler Group is looking at another sales increase in January, according to the company’s top sales executive.

Reid Bigland, head of sales for the Chrysler Group, said during an interview at the North American International Auto Show that Chrysler expects to chalk up another sales increase this month.

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“We think we’ll have our 46th (consecutive) monthly sales increase in January,” Bigland said. “The steady increase in sales for Jeep Cherokee is providing Chrysler with a lift.” (more…)

Chrysler Expecting Solid June Sales Gains

Maker anticipates 39th month of year-over-year growth.

by on Jul.01, 2013

Even while waiting for the launch of the new Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler has seen sales continue to grow, month over month.

Despite Wall Street’s unexpected setbacks and other concerns about the economy, when all the sales numbers are tabulated and reported tomorrow, Chrysler expects June will have brought another month of sales growth.

Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler, said that despite having one key plant sidelined for model change and deliberate cuts in fleet sales, Chrysler expects June will bring the maker’s 39th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth in the U.S. and 43rd consecutive month of sales gains in Canada.

Sales News!

“We’ve seen it pretty consistent,” said Bigland, who also oversees the Ram brand, during an interview at the Chrysler proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan.  “I would say good, not weak, not great, just kind of good, in the month of June,” added Bigland.

That’s despite the problems the maker has had with its Jeep brand.

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Ram Throws Down Gauntlet with New Diesel for Light-Duty Pickups

Maker has big expectations for high-torque, high-mileage oil-burner.

by on Jun.28, 2013

Brand CEO Reid Bigland with the full-size Ram 1500 pickup which gets a new diesel for 2014.

Chrysler is throwing down the gauntlet, its Ram truck division planning to become the first maker to offer a high-mileage diesel in its light-duty pickup line.

Ram, which is expected to post its 39th consecutive monthly sales increase next week, is betting that this will give it a critical advantage over competitors both domestic and foreign at a time when fuel prices continue to hover just below $4 a gallon in much of the country.  The question is whether potential buyers will balance the initial, $2,800 price premium against the longer-term savings on fuel.

The Last Word!

“When you look at the psyche of pickup truck owners,” Reid Bigland, the CEO of the Ram division, said  during a preview of the new powertrain, “they’re more aware of the benefits of a diesel engine” than the general U.S. population.

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Chrysler Shakes Up Brand Management Team

Maker moves fast after Diaz defects to Nissan.

by on Apr.15, 2013

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and new Ram Truck boss Reid Bigland.

After unexpectedly losing one of its top brand bosses to Nissan, the Chrysler Group is shaking up its executive lineup, putting new managers in charge at its Ram, Dodge and Fiat brands.

The quick switch following the loss of Ram chief Fred Diaz, appears designed to maintain momentum at a maker that has posted three years of month-over-month sales gains. But while Chrysler might be showing off the “depth of our talent pool,” the shake-up also reveals how a handful of top executives are each being asked to handle multiple assignments in an unusual lean corporate structure.

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“These appointments are part of the Chrysler Group’s strategy to continuously reinforce its leadership ranks as we continue on our path to achieve our business targets,” declared Sergio Marchionne, chairman and chief executive officer of Chrysler Group LLC, in a statement issued Monday morning.

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Chrysler Hopes to 3-Peat With New Super Bowl Ad

Downplaying expectations after two touchdown passes.

by on Jan.17, 2013

Eminem rapped poetic during Chrysler's first Super Bowl breakthrough.

When it comes to the Super Bowl, it sometimes seems like the battle between advertisers can be as fierce as the fight on the field. But Chrysler has been a real standout the last two years, first with an unconventional, two-minute spot featuring rapper Eminem, then last year returning with Clint Eastwood.

With the game a matter of weeks away, Chrysler is hoping to three-peat with a commercial still being pulled together. But one thing is certain, with Super Bowl airtime more expensive than ever, the automaker will look to find ways to leverage its message by making use of social media opportunities.

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Olivier Francois, Chrysler’s chief marketing officer and the man behind the company’s stand at the last two Super Bowls, said thenext Super Bowl ad is still in the works. It’s been shot but it hasn’t taken final form yet, he noted during an interview this week at the North American International Auto Show.

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Dodge Dart GT Coming to NAIAS

Still higher performance model may follow.

by on Jan.09, 2013

Dodge expands the Dart line-up with the new GT.

The Dodge Dart was introduced less than a year ago but Chrysler Group is already looking at ways to extend the brand by offering clever variations of the car, which the company says is finding a market despite a seemingly slow start.

Dodge plans to bring back a sporty version of the compact line originally introduced a half century ago, launching the 2013 Dart GT model during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

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The decision to preview the Dart GT ahead of the NAIAS also indicates Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne’s determination to make a success of the Dart program, which is the first Chrysler product to be based on a platform jointly developed with Italian ally Fiat SpA.

(more…)

Dodge Darts Into Global RallyCross Series with Travis Pastrana

600 hp, 70-ft jumps and 1.9 sec. 0 to 60.

by on Mar.26, 2012

A rendering of the 600-hp Dodge RallyCross Dart.

Dodge is entering the Global RallyCross Series with a custom-built, 600-horsepower version of its new Dart sedan piloted by X Games legend Travis Pastrana.

The project underscores the increasing emphasis on motor sports at Chrysler, which recently unveiled its 2013 NASCAR entry – although the maker now has to sign up a replacement for the Roger Penske team, which is jumping to Ford for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The entry into RallyCross suggests Chrysler and its Dodge and SRT Motorsports arms are aiming for a more global profile, rallying generally far more popular outside the U.S. – even while adding a distinctly American twist.

Electrifying!

“At Dodge, racing is an integral part of our heritage and embodies our competitive spirit, so we’re very excited to announce the next chapter in racing for Dodge with our all-new Dodge Dart,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO of the Dodge Brand. “The new Dart Global RallyCross Championship car with 600 horsepower and driver Travis Pastrana takes our passion for performance to all new heights.”

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