Maserati vehicles have always had that extra bit of sexy that most serious luxury sedans seem to lack, regardless of how much performance and quality materials they shove into them. They are that tantalizing alternative to the usual German mainstays that dominate these segments, and now it seems that this lack of full segment penetration is hurting the triton-emblazoned brand.
A report by Automotive News Europe tells us that that parent company FCA is trimming the production of the Quattroporte full-size sedan and the Ghibli mid-size sedan as demand for the vehicles have slowed.
“The company is predicting production of about 30,000 to 35,000 cars at Grugliasco this year. I think it will be closer to 30,000,” said Federico Bellono, CGIL union leader in Turin, where the plant is located. Another union official has said that production of both cars has been reduced from 12 a week to 10.
If you look at the numbers, it makes sense. Maserati just had an amazing year, closing out with a 137-percent increase in sales, with the Ghibli making up around 25,500 of the over 36,000 cars the company sold. As popular as the new car was, along with the refreshed Quattroporte, FCA knew this increase wouldn’t sustain its momentum for long.
“We knew we could not keep on growing sales of the Ghibli and Quattroporte. They have to slow down and settle and that is what is happening,” said CEO Sergio Marchionne.
What we’re seeing now are the beginnings of the shifts many companies under FCA have planned. Maserati has often been a brand running two cars in its lineup at most. Its recent addition of the smaller Ghibli to its lineup, and the addition of the upcoming Levante SUV, is on track with FCA’s plans to increase the lineup to six cars by 2018.