TURIN, ITALY — Fiat is in the process of creating a 50-person team that will act as dedicated factory representatives for the marque’s dealers, or Studio Network. Fiat previously used reps from Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram (CJDR).

According to Jason Stoievich, head of Fiat Brand for North America, the additional headcount — senior professionals, area managers and fixed-operations managers — is the result of an initiative that started in California, which is responsible for more than 20 percent of Fiat’s U.S. brand volume. The goal, Stoievich said, is to “continue to provide specific support to the Fiat studios,” noting that more than 80 percent of the current Fiat buyers come from non-CJDR brands.

Stoievich added that the timing of adding staff coincides with the launch of the FIAT 500L, which he says is “attracting a new set of customers to our studios, and as we continue to expand our product portfolio, we also want to continue to expand the quality of support that we provide to our studio network.”

“From a customer perspective, the team will monitor and help improve overall customer experience and satisfaction,” Stoievich continued. “From a studio perspective, the enhanced focus and support will improve all the aspects of the business from more targeted and brand-focus marketing action, to also find out how we can increase sales and profitability.”