DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler will move the U.S. headquarters for its Maserati brand from New Jersey to the former Walter P. Chrysler Museum on the grounds of FCA’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, two sources familiar with the plan said.
The transfer from Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to the shuttered museum about 40 km (25 miles) north of Detroit will take place later this year, the sources said. There, it will share operations with the U.S. headquarters of FCA’s Alfa Romeo brand.
Maserati dealers were informed of the move Tuesday, one of the sources said.
A spokeswoman for FCA declined to comment. A Maserati spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. The Detroit Free Press later quoted Tom Shanley, head of Maserati North America, saying the move will allow the brand to be physically closer to the parent company while still operating separately.
The museum -- which housed a large collection of historic vehicles bearing Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Hudson, Nash and other badges from Chrysler’s past -- closed again in 2016 after years of financial troubles. The museum opened in 1999 and was shuttered in 2012 before reopening, mainly on select weekends.
Moving the headquarters to the Auburn Hills campus should save FCA money and cut down on executive travel. Both Alfa Romeo and Maserati are overseen by Reid Bigland, who also is FCA’s head of U.S. sales and chief of FCA Canada.
FCA has been working to expand the North American dealer networks for Maserati and Alfa Romeo for several years as a means to generate further sales of its two remaining high-end brands.
Currently, Maserati has 20 standalone/exclusive dealerships and 108 franchises in the U.S., according to the Automotive News Data Center. Alfa Romeo has nine stand-alone/exclusive dealerships and 155 franchises. Since the former Fiat and Chrysler formally combined into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in May 2014, Maserati has maintained its own corporate identity, Maserati North America Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of FCA.
It is unknown if that status will change. In January, FCA began reporting Maserati monthly sales in the U.S. along with the sales of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Fiat and Alfa Romeo vehicles.
Englewood Cliffs -- across the Hudson River from the Bronx -- has been Maserati’s base since the brand’s 2002 return to the United States after a 12-year absence.