On February 5, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles announced a change in leadership, effective immediately. Tim Kuniskis stepped down as leader of FCA’s Passenger Car Brands in North America, a position that encompasses Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, and SRT, and was reassigned to be the global leader of the Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands. Fulfilling Kuniskis’ old role is Steve Beahm, who had previously served as the head of Maserati North America. The former boss of Maserati and Alfa, Reid Bigland, has now been assigned to the head of North American sales as well as the president of FCA Canada.
Tim Kuniskis played a big role in development of Dodge’s Hellcat engine as well as the Challenger Demon. In fact, he became something of a figurehead for the Demon as he appeared in the official Dodge promo showing off the Challenger’s record-breaking quarter mile time. Perhaps Tim’s natural on-camera presence will be just Alfa needs to increase sales in North America.
Fiat Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, had this to say of the move:
“With the launch of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Stelvio, and the Maserati Levante complete, we must now intensify our focus on the commercial elements that will drive global growth for these brands… today’s announcement allows Tim to dedicate his efforts solely on the next chapter of these storied brands. In North America, with the execution of our industrial plan now well underway, shifting from cars to SUVs and trucks, Reid’s complete attention will be placed on accelerating sales growth in the U.S. and Canada."
Marchionne's statement seems to confirm that Alfa and Maserati will be more focused on crossovers going into the future. With sedan sales numbers shrinking by the month, it's no wonder why.