Maserati plans three new models to boost annual sales to 50,000
TURIN – Fiat's Maserati luxury sports car brand is adding three new models as it aims to boost annual production almost tenfold to 50,000 cars by 2015.
Fiat said two of the models -- the successor to Maserati's flagship Quattroporte and an entry-level sedan -- will be built in a former Bertone plant near Turin because the brand's factory in Modena, central Italy, cannot be expanded.
Maserati will also launch its first SUV, a Jeep-based model that will be produced in the United States, Fiat said on Thursday.
Maserati sold 6,159 cars last year and expects its 2012 volume to be about the same.
Fiat is investing 500 million euros (about $660 million) to refurbish Bertone's former car factory in Grugliasco just outside Turin which it bought in 2009.
The factory will build the new-generation Quattroporte premium large sedan. The car is set to debut at the 2013 Detroit auto show and go on sale in Europe in the first quarter and in the United States in spring 2013.
The rival to the Mercedes-Benz S class and BMW 7 series will cost between 100,000 euros to 150,000 euros in Europe, which is roughly the same as its price now.
At full capacity, the new Quattroporte will account for about 12,000 units a year, more than twice as many as the sedan's 5,088 sales peak in 2007.
A luxury midsized sedan to compete against the Audi A6 and BMW 5 series will also be built in the factory. It will launch in Europe in September 2013 and in the United States before the end of the same year. The 4,950mm-long car will cost between 55,000 euros and 70,000 euros.
Maserati aims for annual global sales of 20,000 to 25,000 for the sedan.
The SUV will launch in the United States early 2014 and in Europe a few months later. It will be based on the Kubang concept unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show but will have a different, as yet undisclosed, name.
The SUV will be based on Jeep Grand Cherokee underpinnings and will be built by Chrysler in the company's Jefferson North factory in Detroit. Annual production will be 20,000 to 25,000 units.
The model will SUV compete against the Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport and luxury SUVs planned by Bentley and Lamborghini.
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