Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the UK and Ireland has appointed Arnaud Leclerc as its new managing director after predecessor Ashley Andrew headed to Hyundai Motor UK to become sales director.
Leclerc takes up the role of managing director with immediate effect, reporting directly to Alfredo Altavilla, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ chief operating officer for Europe and the Middle East region, less than 17 months after predeccessor Andrew joined the FCA Group.
The FCA Group said in a statement that new recruit Leclerc had previously held a number of senior management roles in the UK and across Europe, most recently holding the roles of deputy director general at the PSA Group in the UK and as DS brand development director in the UK.
Leclerc said: “I am delighted to be joining FCA UK at a very exciting time for the company. Every market I’ve worked in has been unique and this will be no different.”
“I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead, and to growing our business in the UK market even further. I’m also pleased to be working with some excellent new products such as Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Giulia, Fiat Tipo and Jeep Compass.”
Former FCA Group managing director Andrew, who was previously head of operations at Seat UK, joins Hyundai at a time when the brand is entering new market segments with its Kona SUV and i30 N performance hatchback.
Commenting on his move to the Korean brand, he said: “I’m thrilled to join Hyundai Motor UK and I’m looking forward to building on the brand’s success in the UK. We have innovative design, new engine technologies and a range of new and exciting products, so I am confident we will continue to drive the brand forward.”
Tony Whitehorn, President and chief executive of Hyundai Motor UK, said: “Ashley Andrew’s appointment comes at a crucial time for Hyundai UK. The brand is not only bucking the industry trend by registering growth in what is a very a challenging market, but we are also continuing to invest in desirable and relevant new models and technologies. Andrew brings extensive automotive experience, and we are certain that he will help to further strengthen our position in the marketplace.”
Speaking at the Detroit Motor Show FCA Group chief executive Sergio Marchionne this week denied suggestions that the group planned to break-up parts of the business as part of a process which would see the sale of the Jeep brand.
Reuters reported on rumours that Guangzhou Automobile Group might be interested in acquiring part of FCA, but Marchionne said FCA and GAC had, in fact, partnered to deliver Jeeps to the Chinese market and FCA is talking to the Chinese automaker about helping it enter the U.S. market.
He added: “"We're not going to break up anything. We have no intention of breaking it up and giving anything to the Chinese."