As the German sports car manufacturer has become a real “cash cow” for its parent VW AG, its success has become an enticing source of inspiration for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Maserati unit.
Porsche has managed in very few years to reap huge benefits from expanding its line-up without damaging its luxury brand awareness – setting the standard for the industry. Now, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne wants and needs Maserati to do the same – bring home big profits, keep its premium image intact and fend any economy swings that would affect the mass-market brands.
“Porsche subjected itself to the most radical changes in production and management without shunning the risk of expanding into new segments,” said Stefan Bratzel, head of the Center of Automotive Management think-tank near Cologne. “They managed to preserve the brand DNA which gives them special pricing power.”
And, because Maserati and Ferrari are treated as a single unit – the Italian automaker could learn much from the way the supercar manufacturer does business today – smaller numbers, with huge profits.
For the moment, FCA, which is the seventh largest auto group, only sold 15,400 Maserati cars in 2013 – which compares to Porsche’s 160,000 units for the second largest automotive group in the world – Volkswagen AG.