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Wester named Alfa CEO as Fiat combines brands

by Bill Cawthon on

Fiat is combining its Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands into a new operating group. Harald Wester, 51, currently CEO of Abarth and Maserati as well as chief technology officer for Fiat S.p.A., has been named the new CEO of the group. Sergio Cravero, formerly CEO of Alfa Romeo, will become head of product planning.

Wester has been tasked with turning around the money-losing Alfa operation. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchonne has already said Alfa, manufacturer of legendary sports and competition cars, must begin paying its own way or risk being shut down. The parent company may decide not to invest additional money in product development or it might use Chrysler platforms and production for new Alfa models.

Marchionne praised Wester’s performance in his current assignments and said he expects Wester will leverage the performance heritage and features of the three brands for which he is now responsible.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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