Stellantis NV appointed a new chief for its key Jeep brand, which has been suffering from a slump in US sales and growing inventory levels.
(Bloomberg) — Stellantis NV appointed a new chief for its key Jeep brand, which has been suffering from a slump in US sales and growing inventory levels.
Antonio Filosa, chief operating officer of Stellantis South America, will replace Christian Meunier as global head of Jeep as of Nov. 1, Stellantis said in a statement Thursday. Meunier, a Nissan veteran who joined the company in 2019, is leaving to take a “long break to focus on personal interests,” the company said.
The announcement, which follows a Stellantis board meeting in Detroit this week, comes as Jeep is mired in a sales slump, leading to growing inventories on dealer lots.
The SUV brand had 95 days supply in the US at the end of August, compared with 66 days at General Motors Co.’s SUV brand and an industry average of 58, according to researcher Cox Automotive.
Jeep deliveries in the US fell 3% from a year ago in the second quarter, with every model down except its lowest-priced nameplate, the Jeep Compass, and its highest-volume model, the Grand Cherokee. US sales of the brand fell 12% in 2022 after a 2% drop in 2021.
Stellantis will report its third-quarter US sales next week.
Jeep’s aggressive price hikes and more luxe content, married with more restrained incentive spending, have weighed on sales, according to Ivan Drury, director of insights at auto-market researcher Edmunds. It’s also facing stiffer competition from popular models like the Ford Bronco, which returned to showrooms after a more than two-decade hiatus.
Meunier is not the only high-level brand executive at Stellantis to be replaced in recent months. In June, Tim Kuniskis, credited with reviving the Dodge muscle car brand, became head of Ram in the US, replacing Mike Koval, who went to head up the Mopar parts brand.
In February, Stellantis appointed Thierry Koskas as CEO of Citroen to replace Vincent Cobee, who it said would “pursue personal projects outside the company.” In the latest shuffle, Emanuele Cappellano was appointed chief operating officer of Stellantis South America to replace Filosa.
Stellantis was formed in 2021 from the merger of Fiat Chrysler with France’s PSA Group.
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