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Is Maserati Meeting Your Expectations or Not?

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Today from Motor1.

MASERATI LEVANTE: The struggling SUV had problems from the get go.

The Levante hasn’t exactly been a huge success for Maserati. Since its launch in 2016, the company has had to halt production twice – shortly thereafter cutting production of the SUV by a whole 59 percent. In 2017, Maserati moved just 5,485 examples of the Levante. While the brand spices up its range-topping SUV with more options and trims in an effort to boost sales, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the Levante struggled from the get go.

In an interview with MotorTrend, Marchionne spoke candidly about the the Levante, specifically its launch. He says the debut of the large luxury vehicle was to blame for its exceedingly slow start. "Very poor execution. I think we sucked at the launch of the Levante," said the CEO. Following its poor showing in 2016, and its subsequent launch in the U.S. later that same year, boss Reid Bigland was replaced by Tim Kuniskis as global head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati in February.


 

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i thought they had to cut production because of the issue about China taxes or something like that driving the price of the SUV higher than expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
i thought they had to cut production because of the issue about China taxes or something like that driving the price of the SUV higher than expected.
I guess not. Appears it wasn't as big a success as so many are saying. Turns out within FCA, the Levante has been a failure to this point. Lets see if the update helps draws in more sales. We can only hope.
 

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I guess not. Appears it wasn't as big a success as so many are saying. Turns out within FCA, the Levante has been a failure to this point. Lets see if the update helps draws in more sales. We can only hope.

Maserati went to negative margin? Thank you for fake news.
 

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I guess not. Appears it wasn't as big a success as so many are saying. Turns out within FCA, the Levante has been a failure to this point. Lets see if the update helps draws in more sales. We can only hope.
Maserati went to negative margin? Thank you for fake news.
Could you explain where he said "Maserati went to negative margin"? Perhaps you can refrain from the "fake news" mud slinging in the future.
 

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In defence of @T_690 's post, Levante is not a failed product. It is still bringing in profits for Maserati, and will easily pay its development costs. The only true "failure" is a product that loses money.

Levante's problem is that it hasn't met the very high expectations that were placed on this model.

Because Quattroporte and Ghibli had put in very strong sales, the Levante SUV, being a more popular body shape, was expected outsell those again and become the brand's top model. Everyone said it, from the industry press to the investment advisors. Even I said it (but nobody pays me to write reports for investors in the car business).

As it happened, Maserati buyers and SUV buyers didn't seem to have much crossover (excuse the pun). I personally think that the V8 will fix a lot of this: Levante's engine range topped out at the same point as the smaller Ghibli, and that made it hard to square with the idea of "high performance SUV", especially when its competition could all offer the more prestigious 8-cylinder engine.
 

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In defence of @T_690 's post, Levante is not a failed product. It is still bringing in profits for Maserati, and will easily pay its development costs. The only true "failure" is a product that loses money.
We don't know what the bar is set at to determine success or failure for the Levante, so none of us can say what constitutes a "true" failure. The Jeep MJ Commanche made money but was deemed a failure. The 500e loses money but helps meet California emissions requirements. I'm only nit-picking because of the unnecessary "fake news" barb, since we can only speculate on what is truly successful or a failure. For the Levante, the only "true news" is the launch sucked and that's straight from the horses a... er.. mouth.;)
 
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Sales will increase with continued investment. The new V8 will boost sales in the US and the decrease of tariffs in China on imported cars will also increase the sales of the Levante.
Obviously, the 75k anual sales for Maserati was over-optimistic with an aged Ghibli, a niche Quatropporte and a Levante without barely any engine options.
 

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For such an experienced CEO, Sergio sure stinks at forecasting sales or managing his people to successfully launch new vehicles.:oops:
 

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We don't know what the bar is set at to determine success or failure for the Levante, so none of us can say what constitutes a "true" failure. The Jeep MJ Commanche made money but was deemed a failure. The 500e loses money but helps meet California emissions requirements. I'm only nit-picking because of the unnecessary "fake news" barb, since we can only speculate on what is truly successful or a failure. For the Levante, the only "true news" is the launch sucked and that's straight from the horses a... er.. mouth.;)
But the MJ wasn’t a failure, it was just taking up production space from the Cherokee which has succeeded in completely transforming the “off-road” segment into what we now know as the SUV segment. Nobody predicted how popular the Cherokee would become, thus sharing a line with a unit-body pickup was a no-brained—until it
 

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The MJ simply illustrates how a profitable vehicle can be deemed a "failure" depending on the parameters set by management. Another example is the Jeep Commander (XK). By just about any metric used outside of Jeep, it was a failure. But internally, it was a successful implementation of flex manufacturing. I don't know if the Prowler was profitable, but I bet there was more riding on the use and application of aluminum than worries over model sales and profits.
 

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For such an experienced CEO, Sergio sure stinks at forecasting sales or managing his people to successfully launch new vehicles.:oops:
If Marchionne talked publicly solely about financial targets instead of mentioning concrete sales targets he wouldn't have looked like a fool nor would have he given ammunition to the haters to say if a launch was a failure or not.
He's probably the only CEO that publicly talked about specific sales numbers as a marker of success. And there's a reason why no one else does it.

Fortunately, we won't have to put up with him much longer. But right now Maserati is on the cusp of giving a big leap in terms of sales. They have to improve the engine line-up to include engines that any Maserati buyer would expect such as V8 engine options across all the line-up, plus PHEV's and more flashy tech.
 

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If Marchionne talked publicly solely about financial targets instead of mentioning concrete sales targets he wouldn't have looked like a fool nor would have he given ammunition to the haters to say if a launch was a failure or not.
He's probably the only CEO that publicly talked about specific sales numbers as a marker of success. And there's a reason why no one else does it.

Fortunately, we won't have to put up with him much longer. But right now Maserati is on the cusp of giving a big leap in terms of sales. They have to improve the engine line-up to include engines that any Maserati buyer would expect such as V8 engine options across all the line-up, plus PHEV's and more flashy tech.
Agreed. Quattroporte should have V8 as standard engine and Ghibli should have optional V8. The V6 is turning a lot of buyers away.
 

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To the OP.

Should Maserati compete with Porsche?

Definitely not. A Maserati is something special. They should be more in line with Aston, than Porsche, Jag, et al.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
To the OP.

Should Maserati compete with Porsche?

Definitely not. A Maserati is something special. They should be more in line with Aston, than Porsche, Jag, et al.
I do agree that a Maserati should be more exclusive. But when they start trying to make "mainstream luxury/sport" crossovers, you have to wonder what their intentions are as well.

I agree with you though.
 

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I think one of the problems with Levante was that it designed to be good enough rather than stellar. This is opposed to what was done with Stelvio and Giulia that were engineered to be class toppers. That's the why the recent Alfa models created a buzz in the motoring media whereas Levante failed to do that. Levante's main rival, Cayenne, is so well established and it would have needed a bigger effort on Maserati's part to shake it from its place,

I agree with some other posters that Maserati should be really exclusive but unfortunately the decision was made to turn Maserati to "Italian Porsche". About 10 years ago when they only had two models ( previous gen QP and GT) and both models oozed class. Maserati's current line up doesn't do that for me. In fact, I find Alfa's recent offerings a lot more interesting.
 
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