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Fiat Names New Head Of Alfa Romeo

In a move aimed at helping the auto group better face market challenges, Fiat has appointed Sergio Cravero as chief executive officer of Alfa Romeo Automobiles.

ROME (AP) -- Fiat said Wednesday it has named a new chief of Alfa Romeo Automobiles in a move aimed at helping the auto group better face market challenges.

Turin-based Fiat said Sergio Cravero was appointed as chief executive officer of Alfa Romeo. Cravero, who had been serving as head of marketing, has experience in engineering as well as commercial areas, the company said.

The move was part of reorganization that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said would better equip the group "to face future market challenges in the most efficient and immediate manner."

Marchionne said in a statement that the reorganization would give Fiat Group Automobilies "a much leaner and more flexible structure, increasing its ability to take advantage of new business opportunities and further reducing response times."

Cravero will also be in charge of "product concept" for Fiat Group Automobiles in what the company called a "new transversal" role.

In October, Fiat Group SpA delayed until 2011 its plans to launch Alfa Romeo in the U.S. market as the world financial crisis engulfs the auto industry. But it otherwise stuck to its 2008 guidance and financial goals for 2010.

The company has forecast that sales could drop by 20 percent in 2009.

The group makes Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo autos.

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