Maserati’s Wester Confirms Alfieri Production

Automobile Magazine will have continuing coverage of the Fiat Chrysler announcements today.

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan – Maserati will launch a production version of its scintillating Alfieri concept around 2016, with a cabrio to follow in about 2017, according to a presentation by brand chief Harald Wester. The product plan presented to Fiat Chrysler’s Investor Day was not very specific, although it did say that the new LeVante crossover utility, built on Maserati’s architecture, will launch next year.

Rear-wheel-drive Alfieris will be have a 410-hp V-6; Alfieris equipped with all-wheel drive will have 450- and 520-hp V-6s. The new LeVante is shown as AWD-only, with 350-hp and 425-hp V-6 and 560-hp-plus V-8 gas engines, plus 250-hp, 275-hp, and 340-hp diesel engines.

A new GranTurismo coupe arrives at the end of the five-year plan, in 2018. The GranTurismo cabrio apparently would launch a year after that, in calendar 2019, which is outside the purview of Tuesday’s five-year presentation. The new products represent a 2-billion euro investment in Maserati, Wester said, adding that the brand expects to cap production at roughly 75,000 units per year globally under the current product plan.

Wester believes that with limited production and its Italian design and heritage, Maserati can flourish as an alternative to unnamed German brands, which obviously means Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and, most important, BMW, from the 5-series up.

Standing in for Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemelo, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told investment analysts in the audience that they have constantly under-estimated Ferrari’s worth. Valuation of between 3.3 billion euros and 5.4 billion euros, with a median of 4.3 billion euros, is based on Ferrari’s self-imposed production limits of 7000 units per year. Ferrari could sell more than 10,000 units per year globally if it chose, Marchionne said, which makes its value “well above one billion euros.”

“Ferrari is not for sale,” Marchionne quickly added. Even during Fiat’s darkest economic hours of the last decade, it would never consider selling Ferrari. “Any intentional act to monetize Ferrari is improper,” he said. Ninety percent of Ferrari belongs to Fiat and its shareholders, he said, with the remaining ten percent belonging to Enzo Ferrari’s son.

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