Here’s what we know: the former head of Fiat North America, Laura Soave, is no longer with the company. That’s a recent development, since she still held the position at last week’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Replacing Soave in the lineup is Timothy Kuniskis, who formerly held the title of director of product marketing for Fiat and Chrysler brands. There’s no word on when Kuniskis learned of his new role, but we’re guessing it was probably on his way through the door on Monday.
Soave may have found herself a victim of circumstances beyond her control. Delays in the construction of Fiat dealerships led to fewer than anticipated outlets for the Fiat 500, which wasn’t well promoted in the media. The recent ad campaign starring Jennifer Lopez seemed to be “too little, too late,” and critics even speculate that the campaign has done more to hurt the brand than help it.
Whatever the reasons, it came down to this: under Soave’s tenure, the brand sold less than 16,000 units of the Fiat 500 through October, and that’s not even close to the projected sales of 50k per year. Someone had to be held accountable, right or wrong, and that someone was Laura Soave.
Source: The Detroit News