Allpar Forums banner

Is Maserati Meeting Your Expectations or Not?

  • Yes

  • No

21 - 40 of 88 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
I’m beginning to suspect more and more that this obsession with net zero debt and industry leading margin target is actually for a massive acquisition!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,121 Posts
And now SM is starting to look smarter, no? Not for his “bend with the market until you get whiplash” thing, which has cost the company, but for this understanding that paying off debt was a life or death action.
Yes, carrying debt is a huge drain for a business, an individual, a family, and for that matter a
I’m beginning to suspect more and more that this obsession with net zero debt and industry leading margin target is actually for a massive acquisition!
You’d be absolutely right.

I have said it before. Nobody wants to walk down the aisle with a company saddled with debt, and its associated drain on the company’s economy.

As soon as FCA is debt free, and banking money, it will magically become a darling for companies that want to expand through mergers and acquisitions. It will have, almost completely new production line equipment, it will have money in the bank, it will have stable employment contracts, an excellent product line, increasing product quality, and it’s only weakness will be its retail (dealers).

That is the cycle of things, of being a publicly traded company. All companies are either merging, acquiring, being acquired, or getting in a position to one of those. I don’t neccesarily like it, but it is a fact of business.

You are either expanding, or you are dying. One of the two.


Bringing it back...

I think Maserati will play a huge roll in that. It will be a big margin, prestigious, luxury brand. It will be the platinum icing on the cake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I'm just going to chime in and say how much I love this conversation going on!

I never was choosing sides here, just asking a question to hear what others thought. Wonderful conversation guys! Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
There are many here who have criticized SM and friend for bringing half baked products to market, well, this is an instance where He is doing it right.
Maserati only needs to sustain itself while it builds a portfolio of vehicles that are well made, exciting, and luxurious. This is the correct way to re-launch a brand, thoughtfully, carefully, with your eye on the future, sales and customer wise. In the ever more cookie cutter world of cars and crossovers, NOBODY mistakes a Maserati for another brand. It is the only FCA brand that has as much appeal to me as Chrysler does, Striking, Fast, Luxurious, Distinctive, and I hope, reliable. They have all the pieces in place, except the last, maybe, but Maserati is exactly what it should be right now. The sales will come, it takes as much(or more) time to break into the high end luxury market as any other segment. We are already thinking of Maserati with Bentley, Mercedes S class, etc..... excellent job, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
In your haste to criticize, you misread what the writer wrote.
He did not say Levante sales were down in the US, he said Maserati sales were down:
"According to FIOM estimates, Maserati will produce 43,000 cars this year, a slight increase over 2016. Maserati sales were up 40 percent to 35,500 units in the first 9 months, boosted by demand for the Levante earlier in the year. However, sales in the EU fell 4 percent in October and November, while U.S. volume dropped by 15 percent."
October/November 2016 Maserati brand US sales: 1304/1380
October/November 2017 Maserati brand US sales: 1140/1141
Notice that is a drop of 15%. The author you just attacked was correct.
FWIW, Maserati is extending their holiday shutdown for “inventory adjustment,” which is to say slower than expected sales.

I am sure they are still profitable but I think the Levante was expected to do much better.
Oh, they are very profitable but the Premium Large SUV segment has peaked and is dropping in Europe! It had a 14% decrease in Q3 of 2017 compared to Q3 of 2016.

So a drop in the Levante sales in Europe is following the market trend. It's disappointing it's not doing better than the rest of the market but you can't fault it for following the market trend. The drop in October and November just caught them later since in Q3 they still had a 33% growth in sales compared to 2016 when it was being introduced in the market.

In the US, the Levante actually sold more than the BMW X6 in Q3 of 2017. The segment grew 5% compared to 2016 numbers. What the sales numbers in the US in October and November indicate is that the Levante sales probably hit their peak already with the current versions available. Let's wait and see how the rest of the segment behaved in Q4 2017...

Nevertheless, it's a model with great margins, and Maserati is a success story because a brand that had chronic losses during most of its existence is now bringing in money for FCA.

There's a bunch of things that Maserati can do to increase sales numbers of the Levante. And they already did some:
1 - They introduced electric steering, which allowed them to offer the driver electronic assistance systems that are now standard in the industry.
2 - They finally introduced the gas engine in the UK. They only had the diesel available in what is one of the biggest EU markets. This will probably lead to a short-term slight increase in sales.
3 - They have a great, tremendous chance of seeing sales increase when they introduce the PHEV system used in the Pacifica. That system was a homerun in the Pacifica with bigger electric driving range than estimated. Such an option would widen the engine range options, which means that they would attract new costumers.
4 - They need to start considering using 4-cylinder engines in the Maseratis. If Porsche does it, so can Maserati! The Giulia is supposed to get a PHEV with the 2.0 engine. Make that option available in the Levante, and maybe even in the Ghibli! Use the 350hp version of the engine+an electric engine to increase power even further and they'll have a winner on their hands.


Really, the brand is in great shape currently. Margins and profit are coming in even if sales are a bit softer than expected. They have the funds to constantly update the Ghibli, Quattroporte, Granturismo and Levante. The 2018MY Ghibli is light years better than the first model year car for example.
With minimal investment to introduce a PHEV Levante they'll be able to increase sales a lot more, not only in the US but most importantly, on China.

Plus, they're bringing a Levante GTS with a biturbo V8 with 550hp. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
They look nice in the pictures, but, I have NEVER seen one on the road. Of course I live in Michigan not a big market for exotics. Around here an exotic is a Hellcat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,169 Posts
They are all over here in the DC area, Largo, MD to be exact. there are 3 different Levante's riding around here i see daily, Black, Silver, and blue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,668 Posts
They are all over here in the DC area, Largo, MD to be exact. there are 3 different Levante's riding around here i see daily, Black, Silver, and blue.
The DC area has become the wealthiest in the US. So much for the myth of government workers earning less than the private sector.......
 

·
Administrator
1974 Plymouth Valiant - 2013 Dodge Dart - 2013 Chrysler 300C
Joined
·
36,159 Posts
There are an awful lot of private sector people in the DC area. Military contractors, lobbyists, marketing firms, ... the list keeps going.

What is the salary of the President? How about the head of an average medium-sized company that’s been losing money for five years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
The DC area has become the wealthiest in the US. So much for the myth of government workers earning less than the private sector.......
As Dave Z. mentioned. You are aware that DC is the lobbying capital of the US right? And that lobbying companies are private?
It's the same in Brussels, Europe.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
37,830 Posts
I would see the occasional Maserati and lots of Porsche Panameras in Atlanta traffic. I have not seen either in Pittsburgh traffic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,668 Posts
There are an awful lot of private sector people in the DC area. Military contractors, lobbyists, marketing firms, ... the list keeps going.

What is the salary of the President? How about the head of an average medium-sized company that’s been losing money for five years?
IT Staffers for Congressmen make $160,000 per year with no real experience............
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,304 Posts
Some attorney here has a Maserati. I see a few others occasionally between Vero Beach and Tampa.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,668 Posts
Where do I sign up? lol
There are openings as most of them fled to Pakistan with their money.......after destroying hard drives with hammers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimboy

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,520 Posts
I’m beginning to suspect more and more that this obsession with net zero debt and industry leading margin target is actually for a massive acquisition!
You mean with FCA being the one who acquires?

Over the months and years, I've become so conditioned to the idea of FCA being acquired by someone else has me kinda stretching my brain cells to consider the possibility that it could actually be the other way round.

I'll say one thing.....you've prompted me to start thinking in broader terms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,668 Posts
You mean with FCA being the one who acquires?

Over the months and years, I've become so conditioned to the idea of FCA being acquired by someone else has me kinda stretching my brain cells to consider the possibility that it could actually be the other way round.

I'll say one thing.....you've prompted me to start thinking in broader terms.
I have tried to be consistent that I believe they are setting up for a merger/sale/acquisition or some hybrid.

The problem with an acquisition is it will add more brands that do not get managed well.

The current leadership cannot properly manage those they have....adding more makes the priblem worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
You mean with FCA being the one who acquires?

Over the months and years, I've become so conditioned to the idea of FCA being acquired by someone else has me kinda stretching my brain cells to consider the possibility that it could actually be the other way round.

I'll say one thing.....you've prompted me to start thinking in broader terms.
Yes that is exactly what I am saying. I cannot see either John Elkann or Sergio Marchionne rescinding control of the group. They are getting into peak financial shape to swoop down on something big is my guess.
 
21 - 40 of 88 Posts
Top