In a move announced earlier, Christian Gobber will assume responsibility for leading Maserati North America, effective Jan. 1. Maserati’s U.S. sales have more than tripled this year to 11,531 vehicles through November.
“I want to thank Pete for his many years of dedication to the Company and wish him and his family the very best,” Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement.
Grady joined American Motors Corp. in 1984 as a district sales manager. He held a number of positions in Chrysler’s regional business centers until becoming director of remarketing and fleet operations in 2005.
Grady became vice president for network development and fleet in 2009, and was there as Chrysler moved through bankruptcy and controversially terminated 789 of its franchised dealers. At least 43 have since been restored, a Chrysler spokesman said.
Grady’s extended departure stands in sharp contrast to those of other recent Chrysler executives, such as quality head Doug Betts, whose resignation was effective immediately. It signals that Grady’s move was voluntary.
The surprise announcement was made by Grady during a National Chrysler Dealer Council meeting last week. Dealers in the room said the longtime network head received an “extended, spontaneous” standing ovation that left Grady visibly moved.