Posted Dec 10th 2012 6:59PM
Europe's continuing financial woe is forcing automakers to get creative, and while Fiat may be scaling back its volume vehicles, it's looking to ramp up production of the exclusive Maserati brand. Following the debut of a new Quattroporte sedan, Fiat wants to boost Maserati sales to 50,000 vehicles by 2015. Maserati may lose as much as €7 million (CAD$11.1 million) this year, and Fiat is betting big on Chrysler platforms and dealers to turn that around.
Currently regarded as a low-volume boutique carmaker, Maserati sold just 6,159 units last year, and 4,700 units through three quarters of this year. For 2013, Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne is targeting 13,000 in sales of the redesigned Quattroporte alone. Fiat apparently wants the brand's low volume image to change, hoping to position it closer to BMW and Porsche in the market.
The recent unveiling of the new Quattroporte will be followed by more new vehicle launches, including a crossover utility called Levante, and a long-promised sub-Quattroporte sedan, called Ghibli. The latter will share certain components with the Chrysler 300 sedan in an effort to optimise production costs. The Ghibli will be positioned to take on the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It's all in an effort to turn the profit tide for Maserati and its parent company Fiat amidst European economic turmoil.