Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] has named a Canadian executive as the chief for its prestigious Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.
The automaker announced today Reid Bigland will replace Harald Wester as CEO of the premium Italian brands. Currently, Bigland serves as FCA's sales chief in the United States and CEO of the automaker's Canadian divisions. He'll continue to hold onto those positions, but he will now also be in charge of expanding Alfa Romeo globally and continuing Maserati's sales momentum.
German-born Wester will remain at FCA as Chief Technology Officer, a position he currently holds. Both Bigland and Wester are on FCA's top management body, the Group Executive Council.
High among Bigland's new responsibilities will be resurrecting Alfa Romeo for the U.S. and Canada, markets where the brand has only been an occasional niche player for the last two decades. Alfa Romeo's first effort at returning to a volume presence in the U.S. and Canada lies with its Giulia sedan, a BMW 3-Series rival that, after several delays, is set to go on sale later this year.
Bigland's automotive industry experience started 20 years ago when he joined Western Star Trucks, which is owned by Daimler. In 2006 he was named the head of the Chrysler brand in Canada and added other positions to his resume including head of Dodge and Ram Trucks at later dates.