Jill Lajdziak Becomes smart USA President

Jill Lajdziak, the former CEO of GM's Saturn, has been appointed President of smart USA by Penske Automotive Group, the retailer of the German brand in the United States. Lajdziak's appointment in the new role comes less than a month after she was said to have started working for smart as vice president, sales and marketing.
As we look to enhance the position of the smart brand, Jill’s background and experience will help us reinvigorate the dealer network and bring a greater awareness to the smart brand,” Roger Penske, Penske Group chairman said.

Lajdziak will replace Dave Schembri, the previous manager for the smart brand, and will take charge of the brand's day to day operations. Schembri will take a new role within the group, as part of the retail operations.

I would like to thank Dave for his efforts over the last three and a half years with smart USA. His contributions were instrumental in helping us bring smart to the United States," Penske continued.

Lajdziak and Penske started working with one another this summer, when American manufacturer GM was eyeing the sale of its Saturn brand to the retailer. When the projected deal went south, Lajdziak announced her departure from GM by the end of 2009.

Lajdziak joined GM in 1980 as a district sales manager for Chevrolet. She became manager of retailer selection for Saturn and climbed the corporate ladder to the CEO position by 1999. Lajdziak is a University of Wisconsin graduate and has a bachelor of arts degree in business marketing and management.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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