A still-struggling Alfa Romeo Automobiles SpA is under new management, as Harald J. Wester is named the operation’s new CEO.
Wester replaces Sergio Cravero, who will move over to head of product portfolio planning and product concept forAutomobiles Group. Cravero has headed Alfa since January 2009.
With multi-tasking the norm these days at bothand Group LLC, partially owned by Fiat, Wester will continue to serve as chief technical officer for Fiat Group and Fiat Automobiles Group, as well as oversee the Maserati and specialty Abarth brands.
“The purpose of bringing the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands under the same leadership is to emphasize and leverage the value of the shared qualities of the three brands in terms of their sporting characteristics and performance,” Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne says in a statement.
Wester will “bring strong leadership capabilities and solid technical experience and know-how to this project,” Marchionne adds, while Cravero “will be well-positioned to fully leverage his technical and commercial abilities.”
Alfa is set to launch its new Giulietta model at the Geneva auto show in March and is considering a push into the U.S. market in collaboration with.
Despite a 9.1% increase in Western Europe sales through November, Alfa is said to be a financial drain on Fiat. The operation reportedly has lost €200 million-€400 million ($282 million-$565 million) in the last decade.