Slow-Selling Maserati Levante Leads FCA To Slash Plant’s Working Hours

The Maserati Levante isn’t selling like hot cakes, and this means that the brand’s parent company, FCA, will have to adjust production to meet the market demand.

According to AutoNews, the automotive giant’s Mirafiori plant, in Turin, Italy, the place where the SUV is being put together since 2016, will cut working hours by 59 percent, until July.

This temporary compromise, which sees Maserati resort to solidarity contracts, is equivalent to the loss of 2,080 jobs, the FIOM union said. As a result, the employees will work less, and therefore be paid less as well.

The action comes in contrast with FCA’s CEO Sergio Marchionne’s statement from 2014, when the automaker presented its five-year investment plan, who said that full employment at their Italian facilities is guaranteed until the end of 2018.

Marchionne changed his statement last month, when he talked to the press at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, saying that FCA “may need more time”.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Mirafiori factory, which also makes the Alfa Romeo MiTo, had to resort to temporary layoffs for a few days last year as well, when production of the Maserati Levante was halted.

Not only that, but the Italian firm had to temporarily stop assembling the GranTurismo, GranCabrio, Ghibli, and Quattroporte as well, a few months ago.

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  • haudit

    It’s not selling well because they screwed the pooch when it came to the styling. The side profile is pretty chintzy, and the rear end looks like it was lifted from a late 2000’s Ford Mondeo. In fact, the aggressive front end is the car’s only attractive angle. It’s a shame, because even the UK automotive press (infamously hostile to Italian cars that don’t wear a Ferrari or Lamborghini badge) gave the Levante moderately good reviews.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      I came to the remarks section to say just what you said. It’s a pity the plant workers are the ones that are having to pay for decisions they had nothing to do with.
      I can’t figure out how/why Maserati completely screwed up with this thing. At least they changed the name in time…it was to be called the Kubang (!)

    • KareKakk
    • europeon

      OK, what people don’t understand here is that we’re talking about a manufacturer that sold its 100.000th vehicle in its whole century long history, only a couple of years ago. So, you can imagine what low volumes they used to sell.
      Now, they set themselves a 50k units/year target with a maximum self-imposed limit of 75k, and in 2016 they almost reached it, by selling 42k units. I don’t know if they reached it in 2017 (Asia sales figures are hard to fine), but they’re surely close to that. What happened here is that dumba*s marchionne that most likely pushed the production, hoping they’ll sell more. And to be clear, the Mirafiori factory was dead before they started assembling the Levante there.
      Yes, there might be a reason for the lower than expected sales, one of which is the low pricing and the base poverty spec cars, which shouldn’t have existed in the first place. They got in the hands of all sorts of imbecilse that have no idea what they are looking at, and the perceived quality difference between an entry level car and a fully decked one is more noticeable than on any other car brand. This drove away both the traditional Maserati customers, and the wannabe posers that got themselves a cheap Ghibli or Levante lease that they couldn’t afford anyway.

      Here are the Levante 2017 sales figures, QP, Ghibli and GT account for about the same, and if China sales were as strong as in 2016, that’s another 30-35k units sold –

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1cf92a42b4c61a5ebe991de09cf616722b5111e883a0571e5d4ba9f40aee267.jpg

    • paulgdeaton

      I cannot disagree… except I don’t think the “aggressive front end is the car’s only attractive angle”. I really don’t like the downturned frown that is becoming so popular these days; I think the Quattroporte was ruined by it (compare the latest model to the far-more-elegant-in-my-eyes previous generation:
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d5e6385160b4c4dc2657a19373f469810a39908aa23552168c06c2e27ce65fe.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b341b5be8a9574bfcbc574affe030da7bd2d81bf0c95687e94cdf3a6de73c8e6.jpg

      I much prefer Maserati to be brutally elegant rather than aggressively ugly.

  • kDawg

    Not selling because it’s a good five years behind in styling and technology. What a shame.

    • europeon

      What technology is Levante missing exactly that makes it “five years behind”?

      • Day_Trader

        This thing generally called – quality

        • europeon

          Look, a reply from another demuro fart sniffer that never seen a Maserati in his life!

      • I had to agree, it’s not exactly antipodean and also the styling looks good to me.

  • Just Zack

    It’s a hideous abomination of the Maserati name, with chrysler parts and a weak sales network. Just because you make a crossover doesn’t mean people will buy it.

    • PK

      maserati trying to become like mercedes and bmw to attract suv markets like the germans but it failed lol

      • Bo Hanan

        With Jeep know-how in the family they have no reason to fail. This thing is in the wrong market. It should be bigger and more luxurious. It should sit above the new Jeep Commander too. That is Maserati’s market. Italian JAG or Bentley.

        • Except Maserati doesn’t turn to Jeep in terms of designing the Levante, like the Stelvio this is mostly European projects.

          Which is ironically of course, Marchionne wants Maserati to take Jeep underpinnings and people protested because it will ruin their heritage and blah blah blah.

          • Bo Hanan

            It would help Maserati’s products and add some prestige to Jeep.

          • Unfortunately market doesn’t think so, so we haven’t yet to see Jeep engineering in FCA Premium brand. (So far only platform sharing with Fiat)

      • lousydead

        except masarati charges more than bmw or MB and offers half the features in their vehicles..

    • karven45

      Maserati just don’t want to be superexclusive like used to be. So accept that. Because I think market will accept that in near future for sure

    • The Chrysler parts is totally incorrect, as I said previously, they still share some parts with Ferrari, but talk about weak sales network and yeah I’m agree.

  • Bo Hanan

    With the SUV craze at full speed your product has to be pretty bad if its not selling.
    And it doesn’t help that ALFA’s Stelvio looks & drives better at a cheaper price.
    Maserati should be competing with X7, G-Wagons and Q7.
    Oh, and we saw this coming too.

    • europeon

      Once again someone had a stroke. Stelvio is in a different class, and Q7 is one of Levante’s direct competitors.

    • Yeah Alfa is in different class, while Stelvio were meant to be mass market, Levante is for Luxury SUV segment.

  • Six_Tymes

    I like the style, interior especially.

  • Autoexperte

    so what

  • lagunas3ca

    Levante rides on same platform as Quattroporte. Quattroporte sells like hotcakes in China.

    • One of the reason for production slowing down is because of Chinese market, beside the car sales are slowing down there.

  • Jay

    Watch Demuro’s video on it to learn the details on why this is the case.
    https://www.carscoops.com/2018/01/is-maserati-levante-really-worth-20000/

    • lousydead

      Came here to post this.

      • europeon

        Feel free to leave the same way you came here.

        • lousydead

          Came here to post this.

  • lousydead

    As D. Demuro points out in his reviews, modern Maserati’s are a joke. They produce a mediocre vehicle that costs twice as much as it should, using their brand name to justify it.

  • An Existing Person

    While styling is subjective, it sure is far from a looker in comparison to its competition. Also, with Chrysler parts, average technology, and questionable reliability all wrapped in an overpriced package, I can’t say I’m surprised with this.

    • Actually, a lot of people didn’t realized that they still contained a lot of Ferrari parts, My mate is running a Maserati Garage in UK and people still surprised when they found how much their car’s spare part worth.

  • StrangerGP

    Maseratis are simply way overpriced for what they offer, they’re even more overpriced than Range Rovers and Jaguars.

  • TheBelltower

    Its expensive and dumpy looking. Not a good combo.

  • javier

    it’s the sleaziest looking vehicle out there if that’s possible

  • europeon

    So they reached their 50k/year target in 2017. That’s good.

  • Vassilis

    When someone is on the market for such a car, it’s very difficult not to choose the Cayenne.

  • erly5

    Abysmal styling is to blame for lack of sales. And the Stelvio ain’t much better!

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