Fiat names new North American chief

Wesley Brown

Fiat names new North American chief

Stellantis has appointed Aamir Ahmed, a former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles marketer who went on to work for Amazon and Harman International, to lead the Fiat brand in North America.

The move is effective immediately, the automaker said Thursday. Ahmed assumes the responsibility from Larry Dominique, who had been leading Fiat in addition to his role as senior vice president for Alfa Romeo in North America.

Ahmed, 39, will take the reins of a brand that has had difficulty getting traction in the U.S. Fiat currently sells only the 500X here but plans to reintroduce an electric version of the 500 in 2024.

Fiat’s global CEO, Olivier Francois, said last fall that the 500e would return to take advantage of the industry’s fledgling electric “revolution” in the U.S. but that the Italian brand has no grand volume ambitions for it and didn’t plan to expand the product portfolio further.

Stellantis said Ahmed will head a North American unit tasked with “providing cool mobility solutions for all.” Ahmed has “extensive experience and a deep understanding of the customer and their technology needs, benefiting the eco-friendly and stylish Fiat brand, pioneering a unique consumer experience for EV buyers,” the automaker said.

Ahmed first joined Stellantis in 2011 and had roles involving Uconnect and connected services as well as SRT product and brand marketing. After leaving in 2017 he spent four years in sales at Harman and 15 months as Amazon’s North American head of partner marketing for Alexa Auto, according to his LinkedIn page.

“Aamir is back where he belongs and at the right time, leading Fiat on its electrification path here in North America,” said Stellantis North America COO Mark Stewart in a statement. “We’re excited for him to hit the ground running.”

In contrast to its minimal sales in North America, Fiat has been a volume leader for Stellantis globally, and the European variant of the 500e, called the New 500, is among Europe’s top-selling electric vehicles.

The brand hasn’t come close to duplicating that success in the U.S. It returned to the market in 2011 after a 27-year hiatus, pushing a youthful energy that drove it to more than 40,000 annual sales from 2012 to 2015. Fiat had targeted U.S. sales of 50,000 vehicles in 2011 and 78,000 in 2013 but peaked at 46,121 in 2014 before a steep dropoff beginning in 2016.

Source link