A high-profile dealer advocate for Fiat is handing in her keys to take a new role as a motivational speaker.
Lisa Copeland, general manager of Fiat-Alfa Romeo of Austin, is leaving the dealership to become head of automotive retail strategies for The Culture Works, a Salt Lake City consulting firm.
Copeland, a member of the FCA National Dealer Council, has been an advocate for Fiat despite its network of struggling dealerships. In April 2012, Fiat of Austin became the first Fiat store in the U.S. to top 100 new sales in a month, prompting FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne to reward Copeland with a one-off hot-pink Fiat 500 Abarth, at her request.
In an email to Automotive News, Copeland, who described herself as “Fiat’s biggest cheerleader,” said the decision to leave the dealership and pursue a career as a motivational speaker was personal and “not about the brand.”
She said changes made last month by Fiat brand head Tim Kuniskis to Fiat’s U.S. business model “will work” but that her departure is “really about me living the life I truly want to live.”
Copeland was honored in 2015 as one of Automotive News’ 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry.