Maserati is in a sales conundrum, and scrambling to keep customers interested until its new products arrive. To that end, in advance of this year’s upcoming Monterey Car Week festivities Maserati has announced two limited-edition cars created in partnership with Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna. Will this poke of the trident suffice to motivate well-heeled shoppers?
Following a 28-percent sales reduction in 2018, Maserati shipments declined 41 percent through the first quarter of 2019, and net revenue is down by 38 percent. Subtle restyling and a new infotainment system given to the GranTurismo cannot hide that it’s over 10 years old now. Sedans like the Ghibli and Quattroporte simply aren’t what consumers are looking for these days. Buyers are more interested in crossovers like the Levante, but, despite its evocative design and available Ferrari engine, it remains a niche seller. Clearly, Maserati needs to refresh and diversify its lineup.
New vehicles are in Maserati’s plans, but we won’t see any until 2020. Starting that year a rollout of 10 new or revised models will begin, headed off by a sports car previewed by the Alfieri concept. In 2021 a smaller SUV to slot below the Levante will follow, as well as the successor to the GranTurismo. In 2022 the sports car’s convertible variant, and a Quattroporte replacement, are slated for debut. The next-generation Levante should launch in 2023. Hybrid and electric variants will be part of the mix, but the brand remains committed to combustion engines for their raw and emotional qualities.
This year’s Car Week limited editions may help boost cashflow until then. The automaker plans to build 50 each of the Maserati Quattroporte S GranLusso sedan and Levante S GranSport SUV, which will showcase special paints and appointments. Both feature Pelletessuta woven leather seating surfaces created by Zenga, giving the interior luxurious appeal. The Quattroporte will wear Blu Sofisticato dark blue exterior paint combined with blue brake calipers, while Bronzo bronze paint and black brake calipers will adorn the Levante.
To be sure, these editions increase the allure of undeniably attractive vehicles. But exclusive sheens aren’t equivalent to the all-new models Maserati needs. We look forward to seeing these cars glinting in the Monterey sun during our upcoming Car Week pilgrimage, but nowhere near as much as what the brand is preparing for 2020 and beyond.
Source: Maserati, Automotive News (Subscription required)
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