Despite huge demand for midsize SUVs, Maserati is taking its time.
Despite its relatively small product portfolio, Maserati has enjoyed a steady stream of sales increases over the years. Last year, the brand posted an overall sales record, and looks to beat that number when the books close on 2017.
Maserati boss Reid Bigland says the key to this success has come from continuous, incremental updates of its existing products. We’ve seen this recently: there’s a refreshed GranTurismo and GranCabrio this year, as well as tweaked versions of the Ghibli and Quattroporte. Even the new Levante SUV is getting a few updates for its second model year, including a new, blacked-out Nerissmio package, similar to what launched on the Ghibli.
The Levante itself accounts for more than half of all Maserati sales; it’s no secret that premium SUVs are in huge demand right now. Bigland identifies midsize SUVs as the fastest growing segment globally right now, but also says there “isn’t any big rush” for Maserati to launch a vehicle here. Earlier reports suggest an Alfa Romeo Stelvio-based SUV will launch in 2020, and Bigland notes that, should Maserati launch a vehicle like this, the challenge is to make sure it’s “sufficiently differentiated” from its Alfa Romeo counterpart.
Indeed, Bigland says that, while Maserati and Alfa Romeo are both Italian brands, the two hold very different places in the larger Fiat Chrysler Automobiles portfolio. Where Alfa Romeo ends, Maserati begins – there’s no demand for Trident-badged vehicles at lower price points.