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Ex-Audi boss appointed Fiat Auto chief executive

Fiat Auto has named former Audi chairman Herbert Demel as its new chief executive officer with effect from November 15. He replaces Giancarlo Boschetti, who will retire a year early.

Boschetti has helped stem the losses at Fiat Auto and implemented the £1.5bn turnaround strategy, but he is not a product developer. Fiat will hope Demel, a former Audi product development boss, can inject new life into its model line-up and ensure the highest quality standards are achieved.

For the past year, 49-year-old Demel has been chief executive at specialist vehicle assembler Magna Steyr, the Austrian arm of Canada's Magna International. But he is better known within automotive circles as the man who axed 3000 jobs at VW's Brazil factory in 2001 after attempts to agree cost-cutting measures with workers failed.

Prior to that he spent seven years at Audi, moving from head of R&D to chairman. He is thought to have left after a row with former VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech. The appointment follows a long period of speculation. Former Ford of Europe boss Martin Leach had also been linked to the position.

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