Fiat has announced it will invest €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) in its luxury brand Maserati to take on German rivals BMW and Porsche.
The Modena-based carmaker wants to increase sales to 50,000 cars in 2015 and in order to do that it plans to launch three new models. Next year, Maserati aims to sell at least 13,000 Quattroporte sedans, priced between €100,000 and €150,000 each. In the first three quarters of 2012, Maserati sold about 4,700 cars.
The new Quattroporte is the second car built from a shared car body since the start of Fiat’s 2009 tie-up with Chrysler. The luxury sedan competes with the BMW 7 Series and the Porsche Panamera. Fiat wants to use Chrysler’s market access and technology to build up the Maserati brand in the U.S.
Access to Chrysler’s 2,300-store U.S. dealer netword will be an important advantage for the new Quattroporte. Also, Fiat’s platform-sharing with Chrysler lets the Italian carmaker make use of its U.S. partner’s expertise at making bigger cars and save on development costs. The Quattroporte uses a Chrysler 300-derived chassis and is powered by a Ferrari engine.
Later next year, Maserati will launch a smaller sedan called the Ghibli, priced at between €50,000 to €100,000. In the third quarter of next year Maserati will also launch the Levante SUV, which is likely to be made at Fiat’s Mirafiori plant in Turin.