Sergio Says Maserati Needs Another SUV

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
sergio says maserati needs another suv

Nobody could have predicted the success Porsche was to enjoy after introducing a performance-oriented sport utility vehicle in 2002. When the German manufacturer introduced the Cayenne, everyone scoffed, claiming the very idea of a sporting high-end SUV was patently ridiculous.

It’s now 15 years later and every premium brand is trying to replicate Porsch’s success with its own ultra-lux SUV. Lamborghini is getting the Urus, Bentley has the Bentayga, and even Ferrari — a company that said a sport utility vehicle was out of the question — recently confirmed development plans on its own “FUV.”

But sometimes one just isn’t enough. Maserati already has the Levante but Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says it will need a second if it’s going to hit ambitious profitability targets announced this week.

The Levante has already helped bolster Maserati volume quite a bit, but the brand is aiming for at least 70,000 annual units globally. Through September of this year, the company has managed 10,962 deliveries between Canada and the United States — and it’s on track to surpass 2016’s regional sales volume of 13,216. This is thanks largely due to the Levante and Ghibli moving at much higher volumes than the GranTurismo.

Worldwide, the more practical models have helped Maserati’s global sales immensely. The brand has shipped 36,000 global units within the first three quarters of 2017, compared to only 23,900 cars last year. Sergio thinks that ceiling could be much higher and would be reachable if the company had something akin to Porsche’s Macan.

According to Bloomberg, Marchionne feels Maserati can eventually generate 1 billion euros in earnings on 70,000 to 80,000 vehicle sales. The vehicle to bring in enough clientele to make this possible would be based off the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and slotted below the Levante — in both size and price. The prospective SUV exists on a tentative timetable with production set to begin in 2020.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Join the conversation
2 of 14 comments
  • Eaststand Eaststand on Oct 26, 2017

    He should probably stop and think about not making current maseratis so disgustingly cheap feeling and badly built. I can guarantee their will be no repeat customers from the current crop of maserati buyers.

  • Akear Akear on Oct 27, 2017

    Sergio has lost all credibility. Who listens to this idiot.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.