Maserati aims for global growth with relaunch of Quattroporte
Jan 14, 2013 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Fiat is hoping that it can reinvigorate its Maserati luxury brand with the all-new Quattroporte luxury sedan unveiled today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Maserati's goal is to expand its global sales from 6,300 in 2012 to more than 50,000 by 2015, said Maserati CEO Harald Wester.
After the Quattroporte was unveiled Wester was joined on stage by Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and Fiat Chairman John Elkann. Elkann's presence on stage, as a member of the Agnelli family that founded Fiat, underscores the importance of the launch of the redesigned Quattroporte.
Wester said Maserati expects to achieve that by launching three new products globally and in the U.S. including the new Quattroporte this year, the Ghibli midsize at the end of this year sedan and the Levante small SUV by the end of 2014.
Together, those three products will make Maserati, "a genuine global player," Wester said.
The sixth generation Quattraporte unveiled Monday is a model "which will once again shape Maserati's future," Wester said.
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The all-new Quattroporte luxury sedan brings Italian style and performance to a market for $100,000-plus cars that been dominated by German brands for years.
With industry sales in Italy sinking to their lowest level since 1979, Fiat has launched a major reorganization plan that hinges on boosting exports of luxury models from Italy to prevent the closure of factories.
Marchionne's plan is to sell more Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Fiat 500 cars in the U.S. and other growing markets in order to stem Fiat's losses in Europe.
But in 2012, Maserati sold only 630 Quattroportes and a total of just 2,730 Maseratis in the U.S. while sales of both BMW and Mercedes approached nearly 300,000.
Maserati has yet to announce a price tag for the Quattroporte in the U.S. market.
The redesigned Quattroporte, which will go on sale by June, gets its power from a pair of direct-injection, twin-turbo engines engineered by Maserati and built by Ferrari.
The 3.0-liter V6 produces 404 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque and accelerates to 62 m.p.h. in 4.9 seconds and reaches 177 m.p.h.
The 523-horsepower 3.8-liter V8 generates 523 pound-feet of torque, hits 62 m.p.h. in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 191 m.p.h.
The V8 Quattroporte is faster, more powerful and 20% more efficient than the outgoing model.
And all-wheel-drive system that can send up to 50% of the car's power to the front wheels for more traction is available on V6 models. Both engines are linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The interior is available in four or five seat configurations. Other features include WiFi, an 8.4-inch touch screen and a 15-speaker 1,280-watt Bowers and Wilkins audio system. Maserati builds the Quattraporte in a new plant in Turin, Italy.
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