Marchionne Aiming Maserati as Company's New Flagship

Late last year, Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that the company’s flagship brand, Ferrari, would be spun off in order to gain some much needed capital for the rest of FCA’s brands. While the bulk of the company’s shares will remain with FCA, for the first time ever, those outside the brand will be able to purchase a stake in the company. However, that leaves the rest of FCA without a true flagship brand. Or does it? According to Marchionne, who spoke with Bloomberg, the company’s second luxury brand will become the toast of the automotive world. The CEO stated that after FCA launches Ferrari’s IPO, “Maserati becomes the most the most coveted, exclusive brand that we have.” However, there is a problem with this plan. RELATED: Check Out More of the Maserati Gran Turismo Currently, Maserati only has three models, the Ghibli, the Quattroporte, and the Gran Turismo. All of which from the exterior, are Italian works of art. However, to make the company more profitable and to increase sales and production numbers, Maserati has had to introduce a Chrysler-ification of its cars. Much of the interior appointments in the Ghibli feel like they were brought over from other existing Chrysler models. This, of course, doesn’t speak to the snarl and burble you get from the glorious engine note. However, it is something that definitely speaks to the disconnect between the rhetoric of becoming the most coveted brand throughout the company...and the actual cars being produced. RELATED: Check Out More the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 If Maserati is to become FCA’s flagship, the brand needs to overcome quite a few hurdles, many of which have been set out by FCA itself. Not only do the cars need an increase in both the level of refinement and performance, but Maserati as a brand needs to stop trying to woo Audi, Mercedes, and BMW drivers. Rather, it should focus its attention on wooing Bentley and Rolls Royce customers if Maserati’s plan to gain both exclusivity and prestige will ever be realized. PHOTOS: See Photos of the Maserati MC12 supercar


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