Slow sales of the Maserati Quattroporte and the smaller Ghibli have prompted the Italian automaker to limit the amount of luxury sedans being built at the Grugliasco plant in Turin, Italy.
According to Automotive News, Maserati will reduce the number of shifts at the plant from 12 a week to 10. Workers at the plant were reportedly told they would be working three weeks instead of four up until July, however, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has not yet confirmed any changes in production. Should the reports be true, output is expected to fall to between 30,000 and 35,000 units a year, though it could be closer to 30,000, according to an Italian union leader familiar with FCA’s plans.
Trimming production shouldn’t be too much of a drawback for the automaker considering it already announced it would maintain its exclusivity by capping annual global sales at 75,000 units by 2018. That figure doesn’t seem too ambitious, especially since Maserati hit its previous target of 50,000 global units per year by 2015. A Quattroporte S Q4 painted in Grigio Maratea marked the 50,000th unit produced at the plant last December.
High demand for the Quattroporte and Ghibli last year helped the automaker achieve its goal, with U.S. sales, for example, up 172 percent and global sales up 137 percent. However, since then, sales for the two luxury sedans have started to slip, with FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne taking notice. At the Geneva motor show, Marchionne told Automotive News, “We knew we could not keep on growing sales of the Ghibli and Quattroporte.”
Either way, the production slowdown may not affect Maserati’s future goals, considering it’s expanding its lineup from four cars to six by 2018. The Levante SUV is scheduled for launch early next year, which will be followed by the stunning Alfieri sports car and a new Gran Turismo.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)