The Young Head Of Fiat-Chrysler Gets Business Tips From Henry Ford's Heir

bill ford jr. and john elkmannBill Ford, Jr., and John Elkann.

John Elkann is the scion of one of the auto industry’s great families the head of Fiat and Chrysler.

The 36-year-old is the heir and grandson of Gianni Agnelli, the former Fiat chairman and one of the richest men in modern Italian history.

That’s a big reputation to live up to, especially in difficult times for the industry (at least in Europe).

So whom does Elkann call when he needs advice? In an interview with the Detroit News, Elkann identified Bill Ford, Jr., another scion of a great auto family, as a mentor:

He’s been giving me very good advice. He is very encouraging about what we were trying to do about getting more involved in the U.S. and really supporting Chrysler’s turnaround…

It’s great to have the opportunity to share this with someone like Bill, who has experienced many things and gone through many things … especially linked to Detroit.

According to the Detroit News, the families have been friendly for a century, despite their competition for customers around the world.

And by helping out Elkann, the head of Ford is actually returning a favour: Gianni Agnelli “was a source of advice and encouragement” for him when he first took over the company his great-grandfather created.

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