Head of Fiat Chrysler’s Maserati brand Reid Bigland recently revealed to German outlet Auto Motor und Sport that the brand could add a second crossover beyond the Levante, cashing in on the current market trend toward SUVs to boost brand sales. Bigland called the Levante an “engine for growth” for Maserati, saying they could sell as many as 25,000 units this year, making up around 45% of projected sales. Last year’s sales tallied about 14,000 worldwide.
Exclusivity absolutely remains a focus of the Maserati brand, Bigland says, but the car business is ultimately “about building models that customers want to buy.” By way of example, he cited Porsche, more than half of whose sales come from the Cayenne and Macan crossover models, despite people still associating the marque with sportscars.
Speaking Of Sportscars…
The Maserati chief also discussed the outgoing GranTurismo, which the automaker had planned on discontinuing at the end of 2016, before deciding to hold off. He called its design “timeless,” and said that it has at least one feature that’s even more exclusive today than when it launched a decade ago: its naturally-aspirated V8 engine. The successor to the current model is expected to make do with a smaller-displacement V8 with a pair of turbochargers, and Reid Bigland says that a short gap between the discontinuation of the current Maserati GranTurismo and the launch of its replacement is conceivable.
Even the forthcoming Alfieri sportscar will use a forced-induction powerplant, in the form of a twin-turbo V6. Regarding that model, Bigland had little to say, except that it will be “a real sports car.”
(Source: Auto Motor und Sport)