The late Sergio Marchionne has been named World Car Person of the Year after a secret ballout from more than 80 World Car Awards jurors from 24 countries.
Jurors selected Marchionne over a host of other executives, designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs from the automotive industry. The award pays particular recognition to Marchionne’s decision to bring Fiat and Chrysler together to form one of the world’s largest car manufacturers.
Alongside his success in turning around Fiat and Chrysler, Marchionne was the man behind the decision to spin-off Ferrari as a separate business and list it on the stock exchange.
Current FCA president and chief executive Mike Manley accepted the award on behalf of his former boss at the Geneva Motor Show.
“It is an honor for me to receive this recognition from the World Car Awards’ jury, made posthumously to Sergio Marchionne. He was not one for pomp or fuss, preferring instead duty to the company he led for 14 years and the nurturing of a leadership team to take his legacy forward. I accept this award in this spirit and with thanks,” Manley said.
Sergio Marchionne tragically passed away in late July 2018 following complications from a shoulder surgery. Shortly after his death, it emerged that Marchionne had been fighting a serious disease for more than 12 months but no one at FCA knew.
During Marchionne’s long career at the helm of Fiat and late at FCA, he helped the Jeep and Ram brands flourish and recently set in motion a new five-year plan for the company. He was also ahead of the curve in predicting the shift of consumer sentiment away from cars and towards crossovers and SUVs.