Wester To Head Alfa Romeo

Fiat named Harald Wester, the automaker's chief technical officer, as CEO of its troubled Alfa Romeo unit.

MILAN (AP) -- Fiat named Harald Wester, the automaker's chief technical officer, as CEO of its troubled Alfa Romeo unit on Friday.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has made clear that the loss-making Alfa Romeo needs to turn itself around this year.

Wester, 51, also has responsibility for the Maserati and Abarth brands.

Marchionne said in a statement that the goal is to optimize the common features of the three brands, their sportiness and engine performance, and praised Wester for the results he has achieved in his current posts.

Wester replaces Sergio Cravero, who will become the head of product planning.

Marchionne is also managing the turnaround of Chrysler LCC since Fiat took a controlling 20 percent stake last year.

Alfa Romeo's future is expected to be laid out in detail in the coming months when Fiat's 2010-2014 business plan is presented.

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