AM Online

Fiat UK back on track

Fiat UK boss Guilio Salomone has told AM he recognises there is still some work to be done to turn round the brand’s plummeting UK sales. But he feels positive about the state of the network and the future of Fiat.

Salomone, who was previously senior vice-president of financial services for Fiat Auto in Turin, replaced Jose Antonio Garvia as managing director of Fiat Auto UK in May. Like his predecessor, he looks unwilling to boost volume through discounted deals with daily rental operators, despite the manufacturer’s poor sales performance last year.

“This is a new era for us,” says Salomone. “I know Fiat has had a difficult few months but I am really positive. We have the right products and now the right financial situation.

“The network can improve. It might not be the best, but we now have the tools to for it to be. I fear no other companies.”

Salomone has identified three key priorities for Fiat UK over the next year: to achieve 2% market share; to improve customer satisfaction; and to maintain the vision of a profitable business.

“I want to work with our dealers to improve our business and their profitability,” he says.

Earlier this year Fiat UK launched The Academy, its IMI-accredited centre to provide training in all areas of motor retailing and aftersales for the Fiat and Alfa Romeo networks.

The UK managing director says he is proud of his relationship with the network and dealer council, stating that his “door is always open”, and that he welcomes ideas and feedback from dealers. That’s something Barrie Singleton, chairman of the Fiat Dealer Council applauds. Although dealers still haven’t heard what the margins will be when the Grande Punto launches in the UK early next year, Singleton has confidence in the new model, its likely price point, and the new management structure.

“Let’s hope it’s onwards from here as we’ve had such a tough time of it lately,” he says.

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