Dealers and union leaders viewed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' choice of Mike Manley to succeed Sergio Marchionne -- even under the circumstances -- in positive terms.
Manley on Saturday was named the automaker's CEO after Marchionne stepped down for health reasons.
"I think it's a refreshing choice for the dealers," said David Kelleher, owner of David Dodge-Ram-Chrysler-Jeep in Glen Mills, Pa., and a longtime member and former chairman of the Chrysler National Dealer Council.
"We have a long and terrific history with Mike. He's got a close, personal relationship with most of the dealer body in America," Kelleher said. "He's a great, hard-charging man who knows about the importance of development of product."
Kelleher said Manley is collaborative -- "he has the conversations." Though Manley has been close to Marchionne, Kelleher predicted Manley would take less of a "his-way-or-the-highway" approach to FCA's top job than did his predecessor.
"I've sat up late at night drinking good wine with Mike, debating the merits of issues over the years," Kelleher recalled. "He's going to be very proactive."