Piera Giusti , 43
Global and EMEA head of purchasing product development, FCA Group Purchasing, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I started as a buyer for GM-Fiat Worldwide Purchasing. Initially, I wasn’t interested in the automotive industry but I quickly fell in love.
Family: Life partner, Marco
Born: L’Aquila, Italy
Languages: Italian, English
Education: Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Engineering University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy
Your greatest achievement?
It’s the launch of the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X sister models. I had the opportunity to be a member of the platform team that led the development and the industrialization of these two vehicles. It was an amazing and exciting experience. We made it through unexpected events while maintaining a great team spirit. All this led to a successful launch. I’m still proud every time I see a Renegade or a 500X on the road.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
There haven’t been big failures, thank goodness. However, I experience small setbacks almost daily. I believe it’s important to be able to recognize my own failures and have the courage to admit them. It’s the only way to learn from them and to keep from making the same mistakes in the future.
What is your current challenge at work?
The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to boost our creativity and find new ways to enhance team chemistry despite having to work remotely. I have to try to get everyone engaged, motivated and strong. These will be key factors for the future.
2019-present: Global and Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) head of purchasing product development, FCA Group Purchasing, Turin, Italy
2017-2019: EMEA head of purchasing product development, FCA Group Purchasing, Turin
2016-2017: World class manufacturing (WCM) supplier quality manager, FCA Group Purchasing, Turin
2014-2016: Purchasing product development manager, Fiat Group Purchasing, Turin
2011-2014: Global commodity manager, Fiat Group Purchasing, Turin
2007-2011: Commodity manager, Fiat Group Purchasing, Turin
2004-2007: Metallic senior buyer, Fiat Purchasing Italia, Turin
2002-2004: Junior buyer, GM-Fiat Worldwide Purchasing, Turin
What is the best advice you have ever received?
It was a quote from Ernest Hemingway that my supervisor wrote in a greeting card the I received at my graduation. It states “Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.”
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Work with passion, curiosity and enthusiasm. Go beyond your limits, but make sure your team is ready to go there with you.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I’m a strong supporter of job rotation. I hope I get to be challenged by taking on different roles in various departments wherever I work. This would allow me to exceed my own limits. It would help me develop a broader vision.
What do you do to relax?
In no particular order I enjoy listening to music, reading, traveling and cooking.
What is your dream location to live?
I would love to live in a house close to the beach.
What is your favorite driving song?
It’s an Italian song called “Combattente” by Fiorella Mannoia.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
Driving along the A24 in Italy. It’s the road I take home to visit my family.
What was your first car?
A Fiat 500 from the 1950s.
A Jeep Compass.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be a Fiat 500. To me it’s smart, flexible but always unique and it suits people of all ages.