Maserati SUV Will Not Be Imported From Detroit

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
maserati suv will not be imported from detroit

Another day, another flip-flop on future product plans over at Casa di Marchionne. The latest news comes from Italian unions, who claim that the Maserati Levante will be built at the Mirafiori plant in Italy, rather than at Jeep’s plant in Detroit.

Fiat will invest $1 billion in the plant and add upscale models from Maserati and Alfa Romeo in exchange for concessions from labor unions such as temporary layoffs. The plant will also undergo a lengthy re-tooling. The shift to Italian production for the Levante isn’t exactly news, but it is a great symbol of how quickly Chrysler-Fiat has been able to turn on a dime when adjusting their rhetoric.

The Detroit production of the Levante was supposed to be symbolic of the union of the two companies and the capability of American manufacturing. But a stumbling car market, overcapacity and an angry workforce in Europe changed that calculus, and suddenly, Marchionne found himself in the position of having to throw a bone to Fiat workers. Moving the Levante to Italy is a rather low stakes move on our shores, but one that will pay dividends back in Italy.

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11 of 18 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Sep 04, 2013

    I want to see a road test comparison between this and a Model X.

  • RHD RHD on Sep 04, 2013

    Why did I immediately thnk "Nissan!" when I first saw the picture?

    • See 2 previous
    • Sceptic Sceptic on Sep 05, 2013

      Yes, it does look like a Murano. Why buy this at $80K? Ferrari engine? Italian assembly? Still think it will sell well in the US.

  • Shelvis Shelvis on Sep 04, 2013

    Did anyone really believe that they were going to give up Grand Cherokee capacity? Sergio playing the unions like fiddles.

    • See 2 previous
    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Sep 05, 2013

      @shelvis Italy won't exactly let him easily close that vastly under-used plant, so it only makes sense that they build something there other than the MiTo for a few days a month. If there weren't the political pressure, I suspect that plant would have been long closed.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Sep 05, 2013

    It makes sense to try to increase output from underperforming factories in Europe. I am surprised that Fiat hasn't released plans for building Chrysler/Jeep products in Europe for export to the USA and Canada.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Sep 06, 2013

      Actually, it doesn't make sense, financially. American workers work cheaper and don't go on strike at the drop of a hat, and there are fewer outside pressures (read: political) than in Europe, especially Italy. As bad as the UAW has been with work rules, the Europeans have developed it into an evil science. Did you know Franz Kafka was European? The EU bureaucrats think his stories are instruction manuals!