DETROIT -- Chrysler Group has named a former Ford and Volkswagen marketing executive to head the Fiat brand in North America.
Laura Soave, 37, will be in charge of reintroducing Fiat to North America. Current plans call for the Fiat 500 minicar to be the only Fiat vehicle sold in North America. The 500, scheduled for introduction this December, will be made in Chrysler's Toluca, Mexico, plant and sold in some Chrysler dealerships.
Soave will report directly to Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Chrysler Group and Fiat Auto. She will have profit and loss responsibility for the Fiat business in North America, just like the bosses of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Mopar brands.
"Laura joins Chrysler with extensive experience in automotive marketing," said Marchionne in a prepared statement Wednesday. "Her rich background will serve as a springboard for reintroducing the Fiat brand when it takes to U.S. and Canadian roads this December after more than a 25-year absence."
Soave comes to Chrysler from Volkswagen of America, where she was most recently general manager of experiential marketing, a consumer marketing post. Prior to her stint at VW, Soave held a number of marketing jobs at Ford.
When Fiat took over management of Chrysler after the latter emerged from bankruptcy in June, Marchionne reorganized it along brand lines. The company has not decided how many Chrysler dealerships will get the Fiat franchise.