Bad Bigland? Sales Tampering Probe Focuses on Fiat Chrysler Sales Guru

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
bad bigland sales tampering probe focuses on fiat chrysler sales guru

Reid Bigland gained plenty of accolades during his rise up the corporate ladder at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but the company’s U.S. sales head now finds himself in a different type of spotlight — the center of the automaker’s sales tampering scandal.

Sources close to the issue claim that federal investigators have turned their focus to Bigland, whose signature is found on many questionable documents, Bloomberg reports.

Bigland, who also serves as CEO of Maserati and Alfa Romeo (as well as FCA Canada), has a reputation as a problem solver, and his history of promotions shows the confidence placed in him by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

A record U.S. sales streak touted by Bigland came to a squealing halt earlier this summer, thanks to allegations of inflated sales figures. FCA changed the way it reports sales after the federal government launched two investigations, retroactively ending the streak.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission allege that FCA artificially boosted end-of-month sales, which were rolled back at the start of the next month. Investigators believe that a strange code phrase delivered to dealers by telephone gave dealers the go-ahead to boost figures in any way necessary. Some methods, like boosted incentives, are commonplace and legal, but that isn’t the focus here.

Sources tell Bloomberg that investigators are probing whether the automaker ordered dealers to create fake vehicle purchases. Some sales documents were allegedly filled out with the names of friends and relatives of salespeople — some not even old enough to own a car.

According to the report, Bigland’s signature is found on suspect documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For its part, FCA has stated that is is cooperating with the probe. But until investigators determine the legality of the documents, Bigland remains in the hot seat.

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3 of 18 comments
  • Dilrod Dilrod on Sep 09, 2016

    Secret codes, Europeans, red sporty cars, women in jump suits and crash helmets, somebody cue the James Bond music!

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Sep 09, 2016

    You can rob consumers blind and no one bats an eye (ignoring recent exception regarding Wells Fargo). Mess with the information used to price stocks? That's a crime against the money. That's serious.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Sep 09, 2016

      Well then, FCA is in the clear. It's been said in a couple places that Jeep alone is worth about $10 billion. At FCA's current stock price, the market value is about $8.65 billion. Whatever was "allegedly" done to boost FCA stock prices didn't work.

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys for that money, it had better be built by people listening to ABBA
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  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?