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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Fiat Looks To Maserati To Become A Profit Driver

    With Ferrari heading out the door soon, Maserati is Fiat's Hope for Making Money

    With Ferrari being spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles later this year, the company will lose its biggest profit maker that helps bankroll a number of vehicles in FCA's lineup. So what is the company to do? FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is hoping Maserati can fill that void.

     

    “Maserati is very important,” Marchionne said Bloomberg in an interview. After the Ferrari spinoff, “Maserati becomes the most coveted, exclusive brand that we have.”

     

    Maserati is a known quantity in terms of performance, and the luxury market is booming in the U.S. But trying to convince buyers that they want a Maserati instead of the usual suspects in the luxury class is a difficult task. Despite selling 36,448 vehicles last year, - more than double the shipments the company has done before - worldwide sales have declined 9 percent to 7,306 through the month of April. Not helping matters is dealers putting a large amount of incentives on the new Ghibli sedan, which has caused a fair amount of the profits made on every sale to go downward.

     

    Marchionne has set a goal of selling 75,000 Maserati vehicles worldwide by 2018. A very lofty goal as IHS Automotive forecasts only 54,000 registrations of Maserati vehicles by that time. But the Ghibli is bringing in younger buyers and the upcoming Levante crossover will hopefully add to it.

     

    “They’ve got a hell of a lot to build on. But it’s incredibly expensive to play the game. Marchionne can’t afford to stumble. With the volume numbers he’s trying to generate, he’d better not miss.” said Joe Phillippi, president of consulting firm AutoTrends Inc.

     

    Source: Bloomberg


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    A continuation of showing he has lost it and is not thinking clearly with this kind of thinking. Kill off Alpha, focus on fixing the mess of poor quality auto's they have now and tighten the spending to focus on delivering world class autos!

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    FCA  is nothing but niche brands with mostly niche vehicles.

     

    Ferarri...but its being spun off.

    Maserati

    Jeep

    RAM

    Alfa Romeo

    Lancia...yes...even Lancia...Lancia is to be sold only in Italy....that is as niche as it gets.

     

    Lancia should just get axed completely.

     

    FIAT....you axe Fiat too...Alfa Romeo get can Fiat's game the way BMW and M-B do in Europe.

     

    Alfa Romeo is needed. If FCA plays their cards right...Alfa could truly become Italy's BMW...technically, Alfa Romeo WAS Europe's BMW before there even was BMW.  Meaning...if Europeans are sooooo snobby AGAINST American cars....then Alfa could do EXACTLY what BMW and M-B do....be everything to everybody in Europe...and luxurious and prestigious in North America.  Alfa Romeo in North America still has that aura of exotica in North America. Which leads us to Maserati....FCA should spin off Maserati to the Chinese and let them sink money into Maserati...Alfa Romeo could pull off sexy Italian exotica even better than Maserati can. Look at the 8C and 4C. Along with Mopar stylists....Alfa Romeo could go a long way. Alfa Romeo could even use Mopar's North American marketing people...those guys KNOW how to sell products to the public.

     

    Dodge could fill mainstream needs in North America quite easily.

    Chrysler could fill mainstream luxury, premium and luxury in North America quite easily too...technically, Chrysler ALWAYS filled in those shoes. Its what Chrysler does..

     

    Jeep and Ram just need to do what they have always done.

     

    If Sergio is smart....he could emulate GM....and its easy to do....FCA has all the RIGHT ingredients to emulate GM...

     

    In Europe

    Alfa Romeo = BMW / M-B / Opel / VW

     

    In North America

    Alfa Romeo = Cadillac / BMW / M-B / Jaguar / Audi

    and eventually in 2 decades...Alfa...if their cards were played right....could even reach Ferrari status...see 8C and 4C....because technically....Alfa Romeo was Ferrari before there was even a Ferrari...and people still today...are fond of that...

     

    Chrysler = Buick / Cadillac (lower end Cadillac)

    Dodge = Chevy and Pontiac

     

    There is a slight problem to this...FCA will NEVER axe 3 Italian makes just to keep the Americans ones alive...so....alternate...

     

    Dodge gets axed in favor of Fiat...

    Fiat becomes mainstream in Europe and Alfa Romeo becomes luxurious all the way...

     

    Chrysler picks up where Dodge leaves off in north America...

     

    But us American guys are not happy with that....

    However...Sergio is correct in one thing...

    The world has too many brands as it is...some of these brands will have to go eventually...

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    It's all about the platforms, and how they use them.

    IF the new Giulia's chassis is really worthy of being an Alfa, and they also allow the North American brands to use it... then they have a fighting chance on that level. Europeans will snatch up enough "real" Alfas to put Sergio at least a good ways towards his goals.

    Now they have to do the same thing on a grander scale with Maserati. An SUV is a good start from a sales point of view, if not for brand purity. But I suspect they will have to invest in a chassis roughly equivalent to a long Alpha or even an Omega at some point to make it sustainable. Figure on such a platform underpinning a Quattroporte (LWB), the next Ghibli/sport coupe (SWB) in Europe, and possibly a new Imperial over here.

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    I did not know about Lancia's fate...Old news is what I was counting on. Thanx for the insight, Drew.

     

    I agree El K. (most people call you 'Bong...well...I aint most people. I prefer to call you El K. )

    About the platforms and how they use them.

     

    Maserati could work like you said about an Omega type platform and then Alfa Romeo using it and even Chrysler as an Imperial. But I have a dilemma in my thought process in that Alpha Romeo would need to grow into that role as well...the role of high end...high high end luxury as well. Overlap is what I am talking about. And there is overlap between Chrsyler and Alfa Romeo...and if Sergio limits overlap between Chrysler and Alfa...and lets Chrysler sit at premium level...even below premium, there is over lap with Dodge. And what happens with Fiat?

     Dodge cars are certainly not Fiat cars in terms hof what Dodge's DNA is made up of...

    Meaning...a Dodge Dart based on a Fiat may pass muster...but Dodge never had any Pandas in their line-up...it was always Chargers....Challengers...Vipers...Stealth...you know...mean oriented things...not cute and cuddly Pandas...yeah I know...Pandas are vicious...but women always go gaga over Pandas...but when facing a Viper...women scream in fear...and THAT is what Dodge is all about...Screaming in fear...

     

    What Im trying to say is that Fiat and Dodge...when sharing a platform...the automobile that is meant for a Fiat will be the complete opposite of what Dodge will have to sell in order for both brands to actually pull off platform sharing together...

     

    I dont know If my thought process is clear...but it is what it is... :blink:

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