Maserati is undergoing a huge amount of change – the Italian automaker is looking to balloon its annual sales to 50,000 units and to add a number of new models to do so. One of those models is the Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-based Levante SUV, which, until today, was expected to be built alongside its American cousin in Detroit.
According to Automotive News Europe, the Maserati Levante will now be built in Turin, Italy at Fiat’s historic Mirafiori plant, which has been severely underutilized in recent years. ANE also reports that the Levante will share its production line with the Alfa Romeo crossover due in 2015.
This is a big shift from what Fiat and Chrysler have been saying for the past few years, since it pulled the covers off the initial Kubang SUV concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011: up until now, the Italo-American automaker had maintained that the Jeep-based Maserati SUV would be built along with the Grand Cherokee at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Plant in Detroit, Michigan, albeit in a special section exclusively for the Levante. However, no matter where the Levante was to be built, it had been confirmed that it would use a Ferrari-built engine.
An official announcement regarding the future of the Mirafiori plant is expected this summer, but ANE is citing Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne as saying that both Maserati and Alfa Romeo models will be built there.
Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription required)