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Three new Maseratis coming in quick succession - Marchionne

By Tim Pollard

Motor Industry

22 November 2011 11:38

Maserati is preparing a trio of new products for launch in quick succession, Fiat chief exec Sergio Marchionne has confirmed.

In an interview after addressing the CBI business conference in London yesterday, he said a successor to the Quattroporte, a smaller Maserati and the Kubang would reinvigorate the Maser range.

'Maserati will increase its volumes by having three cars,' said Marchionne, confirming a replacement for the Quattroporte, the SUV and 'a much smaller four-door. The donor architecture is the [Chrysler] 300, but the suspension is completely different and the engines are totally Ferrari/Maserati.'

Which new Maserati comes first?

'We are being a bit secretive over what you get first because it has implications for the industrial footprint of the group,' Marchionne replied.

'You see, there is a site in Modena that makes the Quattroporte, there's some debate what happens to that plant after Quattroporte. There is sufficient commonality in what we're doing between the smaller car and the bigger one that we can do what we want.'

CAR understands the Quattroporte comes first, followed by the Kubang, then the E-segment Maser. Marchionne said the new products would be launched in quick succession.

Sounds like they could build Maseratis in America!

Indeed they will. The new Kubang will be built at a Jeep facility in the US; it's heavily based on Grand Cherokee underpinnings, with the icing on the cake - engines, suspension, styling and cabin furniture - developed in Italy.

Marchionne insisted most Maseratis would continue to be built in Italy - 'apart from the Kubang, the big saloons will stay in Italy.'

Alfa Romeo sale to Volkswagen

Marchionne also confirmed that he had been approached by the Volkswagen group who had inquired if Fiat would sell Alfa Romeo. It was not for sale, he said, but wouldn't rule out a sale in future - if the price was high enough.

'Alfa in Volkswagen's hands would not be Alfa,' he said, claiming that VW's platform strategy could neuter the Italian brand's DNA.