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Bigland in running for top job?

by Bill Cawthon on

In this week’s print edition of Automotive News, Larry Vellequette wrote that Reid Bigland is in the running for the next CEO of Fiat Chrysler. The head of sales’ new mission to run Alfa Romeo and Maserati could be his final exam for the top job. His primary rival seems to be Mike Manley, whose stewardship of Jeep and international background has been in his favor.


UK-born Manley has international experience and a long track record managing all aspects of Jeep, worldwide, while Bigland, who has dual Canadian and U..S. citizenship, has long experience in North American sales and  more recent stints as the head of Dodge (which was quickly switched to Tim Kuniskis) and Ram.

Marchionne may want a different perspective at the top; he is a brilliant accountant, financier, and negotiator, but not a pitchman. The last salesman in Chrysler’s top spot — Lee Iacocca — did pretty well.

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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