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Massive growth planned for Maserati

Next in line: Sharing the Quattroporte mechanicals, Maserati's Levante SUV goes on sale in Australia next year.

Five new models, more variants to dramatically increase Maserati sales in Australia

1 Jul 2014

MASERATI says it aims to have a product and variant in every key prestige and sports market segment by 2020 as it builds a sustained assault on the Australian luxury car market.

As part of the Fiat Chrysler group's publicly disclosed five-year plan, the Italian sports car specialist will introduce five all-new models in addition to this year's Quattroporte and Ghibli sports sedans, and says the strategy will skyrocket its Australian annual sales total to 1500 by 2016.

With just over 100 cars sold last year, reaching its target would represent unprecedented growth, but in the first six months of 2014 the car-maker has already equaled its previous best year of 200 units.

Expanding the range and offering more choice is just part of the plan to sway customers away from other brands, with Maserati distributor European Automotive Imports spokesman Edward Rowe saying that by resisting the temptation to branch out in to cheaper, more conservative vehicles, it will win sales from drivers who are “tired of seeing their (prestige) badge on a $29,990 drive-away hatch”.

Maserati’s expansion started early this year with the recently completed Quattroporte range. Previously, the luxury four-door was only available with a Ferrari-derived, high-revving V8, but the next generation has brought with it a flagship V8-powered GTS, as well as smaller V6 petrol and range-extended diesel variants.

The recently introduced, smaller Ghibli sedan shares the V6 powertrains of its bigger brother, but both models are promised a new halo 400kW engine that will one day create a flagship performance variant for each range.

The next new model to wear the three-pronged badge will be the Levante SUV arriving next year, which Mr Rowe said would be an important player.

“It's of particular significance to this market, obviously, because of our much higher proportion of SUV cars, and this market has a disproportionately higher sector for luxury premium vehicles,” he said.

Based on the Quattroporte platform, the Levante will share all three engine options of the big sedan, as well as the forthcoming top-performing 400kW V8.

In 2016, the show-stopping Alfieri two-seater coupe will arrive to take the sportscar fight to top-end performance offerings such as the imminent Mercedes AMG GT coupe and Porsche's 911 range.

“That takes Maserati back in to a market sector that it hasn't been in for the better part of a decade,” Mr Rowe said.

A wind-in-the-hair convertible version of the fixed-top Alfieri will follow two years after the initial coupe launch.

“When Coupe and Spyder were dropped they weren't replaced by GranCabrio and GranTurismo because they are four-seaters,” he said.

Furthermore, Mr Rowe told GoAuto that the Alfieri wouldn't be the successor to GranTurismo and GranCabrio, and that new models of both four-seaters were also in the pipeline.

The new four-seat coupe is expected to arrive in 2017 and its convertible version will roll out two years later in 2019 as the last model in the current five-year plan.

While there will be five key models between now and 2020, each line will be “fleshed out” with a broader range of variants available with each model, similar to the new Quattroporte range.

Mr Rowe said other markets had 18 months to roll out the models that Australia launched in just six, and while 2013 to 2014 was a busy period, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

“Challenging as this year is, this is really only the beginning,” Mr Rowe said.

“Last year's total was just over 100 and now we are doing that every two months. It's a big, big change in business.

“We are investing in the future. We're investing in facilities. We're investing in people and we're investing in preparing for the new products to arrive.” Maserati new model roll-out
2014 Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans
2015 Levante SUV
2016 Alfieri two-seater coupe
2017 GranTurismo four-seater coupe
2018 Alfieri cabriolet
2019 GranCabrio four-seater convertible

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