Toyota Euro chief leaves to take up top Fiat role

Fiat has lured Toyota Europe’s sales and marketing chief to head its sales and marketing operation in Europe.

Juan José Diaz-Ruiz is to become executive vice-president for sales and marketing at Fiat Auto Europe. He will be based at Fiat’s headquarters in Turin, Italy, and be responsible for the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands.

Diaz-Ruiz replaces Carlo Sinceri, who has left the company. A Fiat spokeswoman says he has joined another car company, but she refused to comment further.

Before joining Toyota more than two years ago, Diaz-Ruiz worked at Audi, where for five years he was the Volkswagen-owned car marque’s European marketing director. He has also held similar positions at Seat and Ford.

While at Toyota, Diaz-Ruiz was responsible for creating a central European marketing department in Brussels. He also set up a separate sales and marketing division for Toyota’s luxury marque Lexus. Lexus now has its own network of exclusive dealerships in the UK and some other European countries, including Belgium.

Fiat’s European advertising business is split between Leo Burnett and D’Arcy. Fiat-owned Alfa Romeo is handled by the WPP-owned Conquest network.

The appointment follows the resignation of Fiat UK marketing director Enrico Atanasio, who left to join Land Rover in Italy (MW July 27).

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