Fiat Auto has appointed Steve Norman as marketing director for the Fiat brand. He replaces Massimo Farao, who moves to a role in Fiat Auto’s product portfolio management department.
Norman, who was previously managing director of Fiat Auto in France, started his new job just a few weeks ago but has already been given a central role in the ad agency pitch for the launch of the new Fiat Punto.
Fiat asked several agencies, including non-roster shop Mother, to pitch ideas for the launches of the new Fiat Punto and Alfa Romeo 159. Armando Testa, which is the incumbent on the Lancia account, has been appointed to handle the 159 launch (MW July 21), and Leo Burnett and Armando Testa are understood to have reached the final stage of the Punto pitch.
The Punto will be formally launched on September 5 and the 159 will launch in mainland Europe during October and in the UK next year.
The Punto launch in particular is crucial for the beleaguered Italian marque, which has made a host of changes to its senior management line-up in recent months, both in Italy and the UK.
It appointed Claudio San Pedro as global head of marketing communications for the main Fiat brand last year (MW October 28, 2004). That followed the promotion of Lapo Elkann to head of brand promotion (MW September 9, 2004).
In April, Fiat Auto UK appointed Giulio Salomone as managing director – its third in as many months (MW April 28).