Allpar Forums banner

Is Maserati Meeting Your Expectations or Not?

  • Yes

  • No

41 - 60 of 88 Posts

·
370,000 miles
Joined
·
1,358 Posts
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.
You're probably right, but I wish they wouldn't. I hate the merger stuff. I'd much prefer them being in peak financial shape so they could:
  • afford to flesh out the lineups in all of the FCA brands, including Chrysler and Lancia
  • refresh each model often
  • improve quality to get FCA brands off the bottom of the industry lists
  • be better able to weather the coming downturn
  • improve dealer warranty compensation to please customers with great service
  • continue to introduce technological differentiators (e.g. Hellcat engines, Pacifica drivetrain) and to expand them across the brands
A merger would bring in additional brands (FCA already has neglected brands) so that some brands would surely be killed off. This reduces customer choices in the marketplace. Why can't FCA just work to be the best automaker it can be with the brands it has now? The "consolidate or die" thing doesn't seem to be necessary - otherwise FCA wouldn't be making the profit it is now.
 

·
Administrator
1974 Plymouth Valiant - 2013 Dodge Dart - 2013 Chrysler 300C
Joined
·
36,159 Posts
As I have said numerous times, the same things are good for takeovers and long term viability, in this case.

Except for higher quality.... but I think SM feels they don't have time or money for that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,668 Posts
As I have said numerous times, the same things are good for takeovers and long term viability, in this case.

Except for higher quality.... but I think SM feels they don't have time or money for that!
If they have money for a takeover, then they have money for quality.

FCA spending to acquire another company is like buying your child a cat when they have never taken care of their dog, goldfish nor hamster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,520 Posts
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.
To continue along in the vein of thinking somewhat "outside - the - box".....I suppose we should consider the possibility that a possible buy-in or acquisition would NOT NECESSARILY have to be another auto manufacturer, but rather something else that would be complimentary to FCA's existing holdings.

Electronics?......Technology to help foster development of Hydrogen?......It could be any number of directions!

It seems to me that Marchionne and Elkann are a lot more complicated than I give them credit for, because every time I think I have them figured out.....I realize I don't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
You're probably right, but I wish they wouldn't. I hate the merger stuff. I'd much prefer them being in peak financial shape so they could:
  • afford to flesh out the lineups in all of the FCA brands, including Chrysler and Lancia
  • refresh each model often
  • improve quality to get FCA brands off the bottom of the industry lists
  • be better able to weather the coming downturn
  • improve dealer warranty compensation to please customers with great service
  • continue to introduce technological differentiators (e.g. Hellcat engines, Pacifica drivetrain) and to expand them across the brands
A merger would bring in additional brands (FCA already has neglected brands) so that some brands would surely be killed off. This reduces customer choices in the marketplace. Why can't FCA just work to be the best automaker it can be with the brands it has now? The "consolidate or die" thing doesn't seem to be necessary - otherwise FCA wouldn't be making the profit it is now.
I understand your concerns and your thinking. However I think their strategy is driven by achieving greater economies of scale. That should save billions in development costs and given greater bargaining power with suppliers.
Which in turn should make the company a lot more money to pursue what you have listed above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
To continue along in the vein of thinking somewhat "outside - the - box".....I suppose we should consider the possibility that a possible buy-in or acquisition would NOT NECESSARILY have to be another auto manufacturer, but rather something else that would be complimentary to FCA's existing holdings.

Electronics?......Technology to help foster development of Hydrogen?......It could be any number of directions!

It seems to me that Marchionne and Elkann are a lot more complicated than I give them credit for, because every time I think I have them figured out.....I realize I don't.
Interesting idea. You could be right. I would guess that they definitely have an eye on new tech....which is evolving at a serious pace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
You're probably right, but I wish they wouldn't. I hate the merger stuff. I'd much prefer them being in peak financial shape so they could:
  • afford to flesh out the lineups in all of the FCA brands, including Chrysler and Lancia
  • refresh each model often
  • improve quality to get FCA brands off the bottom of the industry lists
  • be better able to weather the coming downturn
  • improve dealer warranty compensation to please customers with great service
  • continue to introduce technological differentiators (e.g. Hellcat engines, Pacifica drivetrain) and to expand them across the brands
A merger would bring in additional brands (FCA already has neglected brands) so that some brands would surely be killed off. This reduces customer choices in the marketplace. Why can't FCA just work to be the best automaker it can be with the brands it has now? The "consolidate or die" thing doesn't seem to be necessary - otherwise FCA wouldn't be making the profit it is now.
I think consolidating right now is the wrong move in the auto-industry. And FCA has ample evidence of this. The big auto-groups are drastically undervalued compared to smaller companies.
Just look at Tesla's valuation. Or Ferrari's after being spinned off. It would be smarter to develop joint ventures with other manufacturers but without consolidating.
 

·
Administrator
1974 Plymouth Valiant - 2013 Dodge Dart - 2013 Chrysler 300C
Joined
·
36,159 Posts
If they have money for a takeover, then they have money for quality.

FCA spending to acquire another company is like buying your child a cat when they have never taken care of their dog, goldfish nor hamster.
What company have they acquired?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,668 Posts
What company have they acquired?
We are talking about "if" they acquire another company.

The track record is acquiring Chrysler and not taking care of the brands well. So, adding more brands via a future acquisition will not make them suddenly get better at taking care of the brands they have.
 
  • Like
Reactions: M.O.D.

·
Administrator
1974 Plymouth Valiant - 2013 Dodge Dart - 2013 Chrysler 300C
Joined
·
36,159 Posts
I can't agree about their brand management. It took a while but they solidified. I might not agree with them, but Dodge has certainly been rejuvenated (in terms of profit and buyer age), Jeep is healthy esp now that the bottom feeder cars are gone — I think dropping Renegade in the US would actually help them — and their Alfa Romeo plans are good if they can carry through. It'll take a few years for Alfa to be taken seriously and they'll need top of the line quality or they will become like Infiniti, though. Maserati doesn't seem to have suffered much, even if the incentives are insanely high; they were almost dead before.

The problem FCA has was largely created by Chrysler Corp and Daimler.

Who decided Jeep should be watered down? That happened under Daimler.
Who decided Chrysler should become mainstream? That happened under Chrysler Corp when they started shutting Plymouth down in the 1990s — arguably you can even blame Lido.
Who decided Dodge should become performance/muscle? That goes back to Lido though he didn't have the brand discipline to keep it going.

Ram seems to be doing just fine on its own.

SM got some rather weak brands that needed hefty incentives to move at all. Now the incentives are at least on par with GM and Ford, and retail sales are way up. I might not agree with the Chrysler treatment but I know I don't have all the info. (Likewise I'd probably have dropped the Caravan by now and replaced it with the crossover, but I know he has to husband resources because there IS a stock-market collapse and recession coming soon. The evidence is simple: first, a bunch of people started saying that the current market will never fall because the rules have changed; and then a bunch of people started saying yes, there will be a hefty correction; and now they're talking about when it will take place. I think it might get masked a bit by all the stock buybacks coming from the tax cuts, though.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,520 Posts
Who decided Chrysler should become mainstream? That happened under Chrysler Corp when they started shutting Plymouth down in the 1990s — arguably you can even blame Lido.
You could even go back a bit further.....to the introductions of Cordoba and LeBaron.

As you know, Cordoba was originally to have been a Plymouth, and LeBaron was simply a badge-engineered version of Volare / Aspen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Yes. I really think Fiat/Chrysler needs to seriously consider returning to its core brand values/roots.
Keep Chrysler as the premium large car/vehicle marque, let Dodge be the mid-size range performance oriented brand, and position Fiat as the new Plymouth, as it was, entry level, small to mid range, high value proposition vehicles. Keep Jeep as it is but drop the more entry level/non off-roading versions in favour of Fiat.
Continue to position Alfa, Maserati, and Lancia as premium European Brands in the same categories. Maserati-large, Alfa-midsize, and Lancia as a premium small car. Promaster, Ram and Fiat professional become the working vehicles.
IMO, this would utilize all Brands within a framework that would mostly satisfy all buyers, allow platform/ technology sharing WITHOUT brand overlap and be flexible enough to adjust to changing market conditions.
This gives FCA 6-8 brands that should allow it to become the major player it aspires to be without further acquisitions or mergers, and to concentrate on quality and value instead of short term gains.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
I wouldn't say concerning since the results show that Maserati has insane margins. If they wanted to maintain production levels they could just cut into those margins a bit and increase sales. I'm quite sure of that.
Therefore, it seems to me that it is a conscious decision made to protect margins. I can understand this rationale but I can't say I agree with it. Couldn't they target 10% profit margins to try and keep production levels?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
I wouldn't say concerning since the results show that Maserati has insane margins. If they wanted to maintain production levels they could just cut into those margins a bit and increase sales. I'm quite sure of that.
Therefore, it seems to me that it is a conscious decision made to protect margins. I can understand this rationale but I can't say I agree with it. Couldn't they target 10% profit margins to try and keep production levels?
I think SM is planning to go out in style by leaving a company that financially very strong and attractive to investors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
Discussion Starter · #56 · (Edited)
Clearly something is amiss with the Maserati Levante as sales don't even compare to that of other sport luxury SUVs in it's class. It can be one of many things, whether it be the possible lack of dealers or brand notoriety. It is not selling in large numbers in China.

Sales for the Levante are down in 2018 for the same time last year. With January in, the Levante sold 379 vehicles. For the first month of 2018, the Levante sold it's worst month since it's debut with only 279 models selling. Hopefully things pick up as the year progresses.

Maserati sales did increase for 2017, but by a marginal amount of 1,177 cars. The SUV was supposed to make the brand explode in sales, and I am not seeing that. In 2017 there were 13,711 Maserati's sold in total, which is their record high. The highest up till that point was in 2014 when they 12,942 vehicles, without an SUV to pick up sales. (All US sales) Maserati sold 9,600 vehicles in Europe in 2017.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,604 Posts
Global sales were 42,000 last year. With due respect, the premise of your original post was simply incorrect: Maserati's sales are not declining in the USA.

If you're saying Levante is not meeting an "expected" level of sales, then we can talk about that, without the doomsaying for the whole brand. Levante is still growing its sales, though, which suggests a market that's coming around to the product, rather than a failed product.

The recent Trofeo with a Maserati V8 inside will have a positive effect on sales. A portion of Maserati customers are not price constrained, and the lack of a high power prob would have sent them to Porsche or Range Rover. A V8 is a prestige engine option, and Maserati would have been expected to offer it, but didn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Maserati Levante sales took a hit; as a result, Maserati sales dropped in every region but Japan, where sales are fairly small regardless; the result was a drop from around 1,700 to around 930 sales.
 
41 - 60 of 88 Posts
Top