FCA’s Manley expected to name new exec team soon

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Who will succeed Mike Manley at the helm of profitable Jeep and Ram?

MILAN / DETROIT – The new boss of Fiat Chrysler, Mike Manley, is expected to unveil his new management team on Monday. The goal is to keep the company independent and a competitor in the sector's race to develop self-propelled and electric cars.

Manley took over in July after chief Sergio Marchionne fell ill and later died after complications due to operations. Manley has since promised to follow a strategy that Marchionne outlined in June for FCA & # 39; strong and independent & # 39; hold.

One of Manley's key decisions is the appointment of FCA & # 39; s next European chief, who needs to address a region where profitability is below that of colleagues, many employees are stuck on leave and several factories are under the control. capacity.

Pietro Gorlier, COO of the components business of FCA, is expected to be chosen for the position, two sources that are familiar with the issue.

FCA declined to comment.

The former European chef Alfredo Altavilla of the carmaker left after FCA had appointed Manley as the successor of Marchionne.

As head of the component unit, Gorlier also ran Magneti Marelli, the component unit that can split off or sell FCA.

The Calsonic Kansei in Japan has been in talks with FCA about buying the unit, other sources have said, but no binding agreement has been reached and the deal can still fall apart.

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The choice of an Italian as head of Europe could alleviate a number of fears in Italy that FCA might weaken the link with Fiat's roots.

In its latest strategy, unveiled in June, Marchionne pledged to convert Italian factories to run Alfa Romeos, Jeeps and Maseratis instead of less profitable mass market vehicles to keep jobs and increase margins. Europe will also become a big part of his revival.

FCA will copy in Europe what worked in the United States, where it revived installations to build more expensive utilities and pickups, emulated by bigger rivals Ford and GM.

Van Manley is expected to have fewer direct reports than his predecessor, said one of the sources.

It is also expected that he will appoint a number of managers for the North American operations, particularly those who will succeed him at the helm of Jeep and Ram, the two brands that have made a profit in recent years and remain the core of the growth plans.

Harald Wester, current technical director and former head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati, gets a role in that region, one of the sources mentioned, without giving details.

Manley and his team have big shoes to fill: Marchionne got what many thought was impossible, especially his huge guess a little more than a decade ago when he started the marriage between the then-ill Fiat with the bankrupt American rival Chrysler.

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It is now the world's seventh-largest car manufacturer and is debt-free, but not without challenges for the future.

FCA lowered earnings prospects for the full year in July and accused a weaker than expected performance in China, a market that represents one of the immediate headaches of the new CEO.