Maserati Promises Not to Go All Electric on Us

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
maserati promises not to go all electric on us

Maserati promises it will steer clear of widespread electrification. And yet, it’s unclear whether this is part of a bold corporate strategy that sees electrification as the less-promising path forward, or simply the result of the brand’s current financial situation.

Regardless, the firm’s North American leader, Al Gardner, says it’s not in the cards. While Maserati fully intends to insert more plug-in vehicles and hybrids into its lineup by 2022, it vows to stop short of killing the internal combustion engine. Of course, we know that’s a promise no automaker can expect to keep indefinitely. All it takes is one important change in management to readjust a brand’s corporate trajectory, but Maserati appears safe from total electrification for the time being.

“This is a brand that needs combustion engines. It needs that raw emotion,” Gardner said in an interview with Motor Trend in which he outlined the company’s future.

In his opinion, Maserati needs to get in touch with its racing roots. Established as a company solely focused on racing cars over 100 years ago, the brand eventually expanded into luxury vehicles. By the 1960s, Maserati was putting the majority of its energy behind road-going GT cars, and that’s been the story ever since. But the big problem, as Gardner sees it, is a lack of awareness.

While we’re happy to agree that Maserati’s marketing efforts could be better, we’re not so sure public visibility is the biggest issue confronting the premium brand.

From Motor Trend:

Maserati shipments were down 41 percent, and net revenue fell 38 percent in the first three months. That’s on top of a 28 percent drop in sales in 2018. Those numbers are not a good trajectory for a brand that FCA’s five-year plan designated as a key pillar of the group’s future growth and success.

But improvements are coming in the second half of the year under new brand chief Harald Wester, who is also the company’s chief technology officer. And the brand is regaining momentum, said [FCA CEO Mike] Manley, even as it awaits new products and battles the headwinds of slowing auto sales in China.

Manley has also said Maserati stands to receive additional sales and marketing help on a global scale. Meanwhile, FCA’s examining ways to add EVs to its fleet, hoping to appease regulators that think it doesn’t have enough. One of the more interesting solutions involves an agreement that pools its vehicles with Tesla. Under the deal, FCA will count Tesla’s fleet in its figures, allowing the carmaker to lower its average CO2 output per vehicle whilst paying Tesla for the privilege.

[Image: FCA]

Comments
Join the conversation
4 of 11 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on May 07, 2019

    They are overpriced as is. They have to get real about pricing them otherwise there is no future for Maserati. IMO they would be better spending all these money on Chrysler or Dodge to develop new crossovers. How can they survive without mainstream brands which all are starved to death to maintain illusion about Alpha Romeo and Maserati. Ford was burned badly with this strategy wasting all money on "Crown Jewels".

    • See 1 previous
    • TMA1 TMA1 on May 08, 2019

      Sergio's biggest mistake.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on May 11, 2019

    "We won't make-a the EVs. Or any cars, for that matter. Sales down-a 70%, what can you do." Agreed that Maserati and Ferrari should be combined, with Maserati being the sedan version of a Ferrari.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Auto insurance renewal every six months. Ten year old car, good driving record, own my own home, excellent credit score, no teenagers on the policy, etc, etc, etc.Yet, I pay thru the nose!!!!!Adds on the morning news brag about $500k settlements.I paid less when I lived in New York State.
  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
Next