Bigland Gets a Break as Fiat Chrysler Shuffles the Executive Deck

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
bigland gets a break as fiat chrysler shuffles the executive deck

There’s going to be a lot less Italian in Reid Bigland’s diet going forward, after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles removed the Alfa Romeo and Maserati portfolios from the high-ranking executive’s oversight. It’s all part of a broader raft of management changes announced today.

Bigland, quite a star in FCA’s upper echelon, will continue in his existing role as head of U.S. sales and president and CEO of FCA Canada. The executive had the two Italian luxury brands dropped in his lap back in May 2016. Earlier in his career, he headed up the Dodge and Ram brands.

Other changes are afoot as FCA attempts to give Alfa and Maserati the full-time guardian the two brands need in order to thrive.

Tim Kuniskis, former head of FCA’s North American passenger car brands and a 26-year company veteran, will now take on the task of managing both premium divisions on a global scale. It’s Kuniskis’ job to oversee the brands’ foray into utility vehicles and electrification, growing sales along the way — and hopefully, profits.

Last year’s speculation of FCA spinning off Alfa and Maserati quickly died down, as neither brand is healthy enough to stand on its own. Plus, CEO Sergio Marchionne wasn’t having it. However, it could become a consideration in the future.

“With the launch of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio and the Maserati Levante complete, we must now intensify our focus on the commercial elements that will drive global growth for these brands,” said Marchionne in a statement. “As Reid has established the commercial foundation for Alfa and Maserati, today’s announcement allows Tim to dedicate his efforts solely on the next chapter of these storied brands.”

Not long ago, Marchionne expressed his desire for another Maserati SUV. Liftgates and lofty ride height equal profits in today’s market, and the higher the margins, the better.

As for Bigland, Marchionne said his job, naturally, is to get vehicles flying out the door at a faster clip. On a year-over-year basis, FCA’s U.S. sales have dropped for 17 consecutive months. In Canada, also Bigland’s territory, the downward trajectory has held firm for seven.

Hopping into Kuniskis’ newly vacated post is Steve Beahm, formerly head of Maserati North America. Before his last gig, Beahm headed up FCA’s North American supply chain management group.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Bo darville Bo darville on Feb 05, 2018

    having seen reid bigland interviewed either on tv or YouTube a year ago or so, it was immediately evident that this gentleman thinks very highly of himself. i don't know how to quantify his self-assessment, but he also predicted the giulia would outsell the 3 series almost right out of the gate, so there you go

    • Brettc Brettc on Feb 06, 2018

      Haha! Reid's apparently a funny/delusional fellow.

  • Morea Morea on May 23, 2018

    Ran Dodge and Ram, the placed in charge of Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Orthogonality much?

  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.