Fiat appoints global marketing head

Troubled car company Fiat Auto has appointed Claudio San Pedro as global head of marketing and communications for the main Fiat brand.

He replaces Erlana Castro, who moves to Brazil to take up a marketing position with Fiat Auto Brazil. San Pedro will oversee Fiat’s relationship with Leo Burnett, which looks after its advertising across Europe.

Argentinian-born San Pedro previously oversaw Fiat’s Spanish operations and before that worked for Epson, the computer company.

Fiat Auto has a complex marketing and communications structure. In September, Lapo Elkann, Gianni Agnelli’s grandson and heir to the Fiat empire, was promoted to head of brand promotion for all Fiat group brands (Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia) as part of a fundamental restructure of the loss-making business (MW September 9).

However, communications, taking in both PR and advertising, is also overseen across all Fiat Auto’s brands by Roberto Zuccato. Starcom MediaVest handles the manufacturer’s media planning and buying.

In August, new Fiat Group chief executive Sergio Marchionne announced that the company would be placing more emphasis on the brand and was reviewing its entire £330m marketing, but no changes to its agency relationships have been made yet.

Fiat Auto is expected to confirm that Rolls-Royce chief executive Karl-Heinz Kalbfell is to replace Daniele Bandiera at the helm of Alfa Romeo. Kalbfell is a former head of brand strategy for BMW, and served as marketing director in BMW’s German home market.

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