Time article on Fiat's CEO Sergio Marchionne - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 2 Old 06-20-2009, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Time article on Fiat's CEO Sergio Marchionne

Interesting read. The guy is a big devotee of Apple's "pop" branding.

....So what's his strategy? Marchionne is likely to hew closely to the playbook he used to revive Fiat. On June 10, the day Fiat sealed the deal, he announced a thorough organizational revamp. From now on, each of the four individual brands--Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Mopar (which makes parts)--will be distinct business units responsible for profit and loss. He also reached deep into the ranks, bypassing the engineers and putting a younger, energetic generation of managers with marketing experience in charge of the brands. "That's a mirror image of what he did at Fiat," says a longtime Fiat executive. Next up: installing Fiat production platforms at Chrysler plants and using Fiat's sales network to sell Jeeps and other Chrysler models around the world.

If Marchionne gets mirror results, he'll make two governments and a union very happy. Fiat's auto unit, after 17 consecutive quarters of losses, finally turned a profit in 2005. The time to market for its cars has dropped from four years to 18 months.

In his first memo to Chrysler employees, Marchionne talked about that record. "Five years ago, I stepped into a very similar situation at Fiat. It was perceived by many as a failing, lethargic automaker that produced low-quality cars and was stymied by endless bureaucracies," he wrote. Giving his version of the turnaround--hard work, tough choices, heavy investment and a culture "where everyone is expected to lead"--he promised that "we can and will accomplish the same results here." Even if Fiat doesn't become the next Apple, everyone from the President to the survivors on the Jeep shop floor are hoping that he's right.....

Interesting that Jeep gets top billing on brands to sell elsewhere in the world by Fiat. Those of you overseas, what is Jeep's market there? Jeep seems like a good brand for developing countries that have terrible roads. The cutting model development time from 48 months to 18 months is impressive too.

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post #2 of 2 Old 06-20-2009, 10:04 PM
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Jeep is the only substantial international presence Chrysler has ever had-he doesn't have to do much to develop their international presence. It sounds like he wants to take back some of the ground they've lost to Land Rover as of late. I'd like to see them try and bring Jeep back to the military market (J8 notwithstanding)-it dominated the American market forever, and is probably the best-known military vehicle ever built. Fiat does build equipment for the Italian army already-it'd be interesting to see if they expand on the J8.

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