FCA name Tripp Hardcrotch as new CKO

It’s another round of musical chairs at the Italo-American car maker, with particularly resonant changes being brought to the company’s sartorial department. 

Tripp Hardcrotch, photo (c) deviantart.net

In yet another surprising move, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has promoted Wichita-born Tripp Hardcrotch as Chief Knitwear Officer. Mr Hardcrotch will be in charge of organising clothing supply for all global subsidiaries, as well as devising a new sartorial structure for the company.

This move in particular is said to cater for the period after Mr Marchionne, whose contract is supposed to run out in 2018, has stepped down, reportedly taking his jumpers with him. It is now the substantial task of Mr Hardcrotch and his crack team of FCA high performers to draft a new sartorial pecking order that takes into account future requirements beyond the hitherto dominant jumper-at-the-top hierarchy.

Before this promotion, Mr Hardcrotch had won laurels as head of RAM’s accessories department, where he was instrumental in the creation of the award-winning ‘RednexT chic’ collection of keyrings, wallets and holsters.

In related news, a similar change has taken place at the top of  FCA’s Maserati and Alfa Romeo divisions, where long-serving CEO, Harald Wester, has been replaced with Reid Bigland. Incidentally, Mr Bigland and Mr Hardcrotch are both said to be alumni of the respected Boise Wrestling Academy.

The reasons for the respected Mr Wester’s dismissal are unknown, but industry insiders are claiming that he was seen attending a business event in his official capacity as an FCA executive wearing a particularly fetching mohair V-neck number, incurring the wrath of his boss with what must be considered a blatant case of assumption of authority.

An FCA spokesperson declined to comment.

Author: Christopher Butt

car design critic // runs www.auto-didakt.com // contributes to The Road Rat magazine // writes a column for Octane France //

10 thoughts on “FCA name Tripp Hardcrotch as new CKO”

  1. The first comment on the linked Autocar article was brilliant. I am already imagining Reid Bigland crashing the Lamborghini press conference at Paris this year and challenging Stephan Winkelmann to a sartorial smackdown.

  2. It is rumoured that it was Hardcrotch’s contacts in the world of cashmere, especially his long association with noted mohair merchant Gansee Purlstitch that convinced Marchionne he need look no further for his new CKO.

    1. It appears as though Mr Hardcrotch is a man of many talents. How would he perform in a round of arm wrestling with a solid branch of Austrian Oak, I’m wondering?

  3. For some reason this news makes me think of the Phoenix Four. Had someone of Mr Hardcrotcth’s style and acumen elevated them to the Phoenix Five, I can’t help but speculate that things would have turned out very differently.

  4. Maybe Mr Bigland (surely the product of deed poll) developed those arms trying to keep control of that 4C Spider by which he is stood? He’s a big lad, isn’t he?

    1. Reid Bigland is a Canadian, and Bigland is a UK name, so you’re way off base about the deed poll, as a quick genealogy search would have shown: Here’s an English Bigland trying to find more of his ancestors:

      “About The Bigland/Rushton Family: The Bigland Family I thought originated from Lancashire in the United Kindom, and were connected to the Biglands of Bigland Hall in Cumbria. I have now found through research that my side of the Bigland family came mainly from the London area and spread upwards through the midlands, I am however still looking for any links to the family that will tie in with Bigland Hall. I would like this opportunity to thank the Bigland family for their help during my research.”

      So next time you drive by Bigland Hall go in and have a chat with them about their ridiculous surname. Reid Bigland himself is an ex-semi-pro hockey player and fitness nut, so I wouldn’t ask him directly. He’s an aggressive lad. Did very well in Parliamentary committee hearings when I last saw him in action. He’ll probably take over FCA if there’s anything left after Marchionne gets through with his non-planning style and wheedling about inflicting himself on other car manufacturers. Of course, Marchionne is also Canadian as a trivial search will show. I think both of these men have claimed other citizenships as well – Bigland is now a Yankee and Marchionne probably claims Italian.

      Still, the article got one thing correct, Bigland is big on RAM keychains and decals – what a hoot!


    2. Thanks for the genealogical research, Bill, but what about the Hardcrotch Family? Are they actually of Austria-Hungarian/Bavarian descent, maybe related to the Hartknochens?

  5. According to the FCA website, Sergio has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship. Doesn’t say where he pays his taxes.

    You can’t fault his work ethic:

    “He is currently a member of the Board of Philip Morris International Inc. and the Peterson Institute for International Economics, as well as Chairman of the Council for the United States and Italy and member of the J.P. Morgan International Council.”

    According to Big Georg, he favours Muratti Privat fags, and plenty of them. A Philip Morris brand – perhaps he’s paid in kind..

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