Chrysler CEO shot in ‘bumper’ robbery

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chrysler CEO Chrysler Trent Barcroft the CEO of Chrysler SA. Photo: Chrysler

Johannesburg - The chief executive officer of Chrysler and Fiat South Africa is recovering in hospital after he was shot during a robbery on Saturday.

The police are looking for the three men involved.

Trent Barcroft is in Netcare Sunninghill Hospital and, according to Chrysler spokesman Richard Sloman, is progressing well after undergoing surgery on Saturday.

The shooting, which took place at about 2.45pm, began as what appeared to be a simple bumper-bashing on Woodmead Road near Barbecue Downs.

Police spokeswoman Captain Kym Cloete said Barcroft and his wife Cathy, both US citizens, were travelling on Woodmead Road close to Shakespeare Road when a vehicle in front of them slammed on brakes sharply. The Barcrofts hit the car and came to a stop.

Cloete said Barcroft got out of his vehicle to approach the occupants of the other car and get their particulars when he was held up at gunpoint.

“The men took a handbag, cellphones and jewellery,” she said.

It was unclear at what point Barcroft was shot, Cloete said, as the investigating officer still needed to interview him in hospital.

Police didn’t want to release the make of the thugs’ vehicle, as it was part of the investigation.

Sloman said the incident “appeared to be a random robbery that went wrong”.

Barcroft’s wife was unharmed during the incident and “doing well considering the circumstances”.

Police are investigating a case of aggravated robbery and attempted murder.

Sloman said Barcroft had been in South Africa on and off over the past 12 years. “Trent loved this country,” he said, adding that the chief executive officer was “more of an expat now”.

On Monday, Chrysler’s head of security arrived in Joburg to look at improving security at the Barcrofts’ home and looking at the possibility of getting him a driver.

Barcroft came to South Africa in 2009 to take over Chrysler SA after running the company’s Middle East operation.

He has been with the company for three decades, and first came to South Africa in 1999 to develop a Chrysler dealer network here. He managed the division from 2000 to 2005.

Last year, he also became Fiat chief executive officer.

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