By on February 6, 2013

Remember all that hype about how a Detroit-area Jeep plant would be building the Maserati Levante SUV, for export back to Italy? Yeah, me either.

Nearly a year after announcing plans for the Levante to be built at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant, union scuttlebutt suggests that Fiat’s Mirafiori plant outside Turin to build Maserati and Alfa Romeo products.

According to Automotive News Europe, the Mirafiori plant, one of Fiat’s flagship plants, is currently operating for only a handful of days out of each month. Fiat is ostensibly hoping to use its idle capacity in Europe to help produce the Levante and other premium cars, while Jeep’s own plants in the United States crank out as many cars as possible to help satisfy domestic demand.

Even so, this would represent a stunning about-face for Marchionne and Chrysler/Fiat. The American-built Levante was highly touted as an example of what American manufacturing was capable of, as well as a symbol of transcontinental cooperation following the union of the two companies. But with union pressure in Italy heating up against a backdrop of tumbling sales and constantly idled plants, the decision to build the Maser SUV in Italy may have come easy to Marchionne, even at the expense of a PR blowout in the United States.

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7 Comments on “Maserati SUV May Be Imported From Turin...”

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Welcome back Derek. Hope you’re feeling better; I know that having tonsils taken out ain’t no fun…

  • avatar

    One allocates production where facilities and workers are available. Obviously this is not the case with Jeep production, therefore the use of Italian plants and workers. How is this a surprise to you? Would you have Sergio slow Jeep production just to satisfy someone like yourself?

    This is just trying to make something out of nothing. Maybe if Jeep were selling less, production would move to America, but I don’t think Fiat/Chrysler’s aim is to sell LESS than they can. Do you?

  • avatar

    What a stunningly UGLY vehicle. Whatever happened to the grace and beauty we once expected to find in Italian cars. This has got to be the most awful expression of automotive design since the AMC Matador. Driving this thing only says “I have more money than taste.”

  • avatar

    I think Maserati shouldn’t build an SUV, just like I think Porsche should not build an SUV. They turn out hideous, because sport-elegant styling doesn’t fit on trucks. You can’t inflate a Quattroporte and make it work.

    But what do I know, I don’t even own an onyx coffee table.

  • avatar

    The main reason for the shift is already known but has not been mentioned here. The export incentives negotiated by SM with the Italian government.

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