Maserati’s Trident Needs Sharpening As Sales Plunge All Over The World

In view of the latest results, new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Mike Manley is confident that Maserati’s sales growth and profitability can be restored, particularly in China.

Deliveries in the second quarter fell 41 per cent compared with the same period in 2017. The key reason for this decline was a huge 69 per cent fall in Chinese sales. Elsewhere, North American deliveries were down 22 per cent and those to Europe, the Middle East and Africa also dropped by 23 per cent.

During a conference call discussing FCA’s second-quarter financial results on the day of Sergio Marchionne’s death last month, Manley said “70 per cent of the issue is all focused on China.”

One reason for decreased deliveries in China was due to a government announcement that cut import tariffs on foreign-made automobiles from 25 per cent to 15 per cent as of July 1. To cash in on this, many dealerships held back orders until July 1 to benefit from the 10 per cent tariff reduction.

In the first half of 2018, Maserati has sold 17,200 vehicles throughout the world. At the same stage last year, sales stood at a record 25,100.

Automotive News reports that these lower shipment numbers triggered a fall in Maserati earnings before interest and taxes from 152 million euros ($173 million) in Q2 2017 to just 2 million euros ($2.32 million) in the same period this year.

Due to the reduced demand, Maserati has excess inventories and this month, is closing its Mirafiori plant in Turin, where the Levante is built, for three whole weeks.

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  • vvmdrf

    Here’s an Idea: Stop fishing out of the Chrysler parts bin and improve your fit & finish.

    • europeon

      Here’s another idea: stop regurgitating BS you heard on the Internet, get your ass to a Maserati showroom and actually see one with your own eyes.

      • Matt

        I think Maserati have quietly improved their interiors of the Ghibli and QP with their most recent updates. They were a little ‘under-cooked’ at launch but improved materials etc have lifted their ambience.

        It’s I disagree with vvmdrf that Jeep window switches are to blame for falling sales. Borrowed switchgear is more an Internet message board problem than a real-life issue.

      • GreenApple18r

        Here’s a better idea: stop being so salty over Internet comments. Learn to accept others can have a different opinion.

        • europeon

          It’s not an opinion, it’s BS and we’re talking facts. It’s not something subjective like the design, it’s very quantifiable.

          • GreenApple18r

            You could have put it in a respectful manner like Matt above

          • europeon

            One has to earn his or hers right to be respected by not spreading BS.

          • GobbleUp

            Wrong.

          • gambit gamboa

            Everyone knows they recycled parts from other brands even Doug Demuro videos highlight it.
            https://youtu.be/RdunXzNNfqk

            Do some research first before you vomit false opinions, perhaps Euromoron is best suited for your name.

          • europeon

            Heh, nice one, except… You and dumb demuro should do your research better. Those “recycled” parts come from Mercedes which used in six figures AMG models with no problem, and except the general shape, they have nothing in common them. But nevermind the metal inserts and the soft material they’re made of, something you won’t even see in the Mercedes counterparts.

            And stop linking dumb demuro videos, he doesn’t even know the difference between the cruise control stalk and the dashboard light intensity, even if they are clearly labelled with words.

          • ksegg

            Just out of curiosity europeon…..do you own a Maser? Why defend this brand so loyally, when what everyone is saying is actually true?

          • europeon

            I wouldn’t defend it if what everyone is saying was true. 90% is only lies and misinformation.

          • upsidedownfunnel

            Found the Maserati owner.

      • Six_Tymes

        spot on, then again, its futile to talk sense to ignorance. take a look at the reply you got from GA18r for example. hes talking “opinions” based on what… lol. he doesn’t even understand what you said. lol

        • GreenApple18r

          Lol. Labeling others ignorant and yourself “facts” is the easiest way to win an argument. I learned something today.

        • europeon

          I don’t know what’s wrong with some people, really.
          Everytime I hear comments like that I think of what BMW passes for leather, yet people are somehow mesmerized by that linoleum material and not only they find nothing wrong with it, they have the guts to complain about the quality of the materials used in a Maserati.

          • GreenApple18r

            Great show. Fun fact: I have shown neither support nor opposition for Maserati and its buttons. I can only assume you are the type of person who rages over Internet comments that you just pick on everyone “you think” is in your way. You seriously need to cut it out. Don’t lie to me it’s because OP is spreading misinformation. I’ve been lurking here for a long time and I know you talk like this to everybody.

          • Yep, it’s like how people passed on the fact that Porsche model contained VW parts, but for some brand it sticks.

      • Merc1

        And see what? The warmed over Chrysler interiors and all V6 engines? Oh wait the Granturismo from 2007 has a V8 right? Maserati needs their own platform and better engines asap if they’re going to compete with the Germans and British in their market segments.

        A Maserati has absolutely NOTHING on the competition and their sales are tanking as a result of it.

        M

        • KareKakk

          Nowadays in Europe, having a fork in the grille no longer means you own a Maserati, but that you’re a politician stuck in a car surrounded by pissed peasants from France.

      • KareKakk

        Well, I do remember Aston Martin owners being not amused over seeing Fiesta switch gears in their AM during the Ford ownership, so…

      • europeon

        And in case anyone is wondering why this is blown out of proportions, here are Maserati’s sale numbers for the past 8 years:

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/90257205697112bd0e370a8e08ad04043dcb4c843e05594e8349abc083926022.jpg

      • upsidedownfunnel

        I personally have experience with 2-3 year old Maseratis. I was immediately appalled that a $100k+ car could have the same “feeling” interior as my Jeep Grand Cherokee. While there are certainly nice parts on the car, there are also glaring oversights. Typical Italian car. It works on a Ferrari since those are such exclusive cars, but on a car that’s made to compete with BMW and Mercedes, you really have to step up your game.

        I do think the latest MY cars are definitely better. However, some of that chintziness is still there.

    • I haven’t check Maserati lately but the parts bin issue is hardly a concern, Audi has VW parts and Lexus has Toyota. The quality issues hit Maserati in the beginning but like some people say here, I heard it’s actually improving. It’s just that people can be hard to convince (not internet people, real life buyer)

      • Mike anonymous

        I personally think the problem is them moving down market (not for sales, but for the brands image). I used to consider Maserati on the same level as Ferrari and (other brands as such). But today, some of their vehicles are more comparable to upscale BMW’s or Jaguars.

        Maserati has been going and selling their vehicles (in my opinion) based on the fact that they are “Maserati” and their name, as opposed to the vehicle itself. Maserati was very good at making their vehicles desirable, but as of late, have been focused more on selling Maserati’s than making them (if you get what I mean).

        I think that Maserati has not only made mistakes, but has been putting their focus on the wrong products. Building entry level sedans and crossovers in hope to drive up sales. Rather they should have been focused on building vehicles such as the Alfieri, maybe build a successor to the “(early 2000’s Coupe” or “GranTurismo” and the “MC12”. People won’t buy products, if not only the vehicle, but also the brand itself has become “undesirable” (maybe not to us, but to the people who are in the market for one) especially when compared to the competition.

        The only reason most people today will still buy a Maserati is because of the name and the brand which (up until about 2015 at the latest) is not the same company it was 10 years ago. I know Maserati has the potential to be so much more, let’s just hope that this is taken by the company as a sign to return to their roots (in more than just the way their beautiful engines sound, but in their design, the choices they make, and where/what they focus their time and energy on/towards.).

        • europeon

          This is because US dealers’ greed, as I said so many times. They flooded the market with poverty-spec cars just because they could lease them for super low prices.
          It’s also Maserati’s fault because they allowed entry level specs (that sell for less than six figures) to exist.

          • Richard Alexander

            $799/mo for a Ghibli was widely advertised in NYC…

        • I understand what you mean, but honestly Maserati has been in this level before, remember when de Tomaso own Maserati? He basically turn Maserati into a mass market brand, and frankly he failed because it has typical reliability of Italian car of the periods (and the rust…).

          Then Fiat took over and make Ferrari in charge, the quickest turn around was to sell premium cars (with higher margins) and also with small line up, they can focus on improving quality and reliability (Remember when Ferrari don’t have the reliability? Well the same with Maserati)

          I think the perfect case for Maserati is Porsche, Porsche has what, produced Cayenne, Panamera and Macan. Rumor has it they once had a “Pajun” (mid size saloon) in place before Mission E takes priority, and yet neither of those cars dilute Porsche as a sports car brand. In fact it makes a rather mundane car to have prestige of it’s own and that’s what Maserati trying to emulate, having a car with exotic taste with Mercedes/BMW budget.

          But nevertheless, a halo car is something what Maserati needs, and hopefully Alfieri could bring some interests to the brand, I never really like MC12 since they are frankly pretty much homologation specials.

        • paulgdeaton

          I agree. I would love to see Maserati as the “Gran Turismo” side of the Maser/Ferrari combo, with Ferrari building the more hard-core cars.

          And then if FCA would have the (gonads) to bring Lancia back into the mix, offering state-of-the art but classically-styled electric models (think of a modern-day Fulvia with modern alternative powertrain)… that line-up intrigues me.their rightful place.

          Maserati and Ferrari always were high-performance, highly desirable cars, and lancia was always a technological leader. It is time to put them back in

          • Lancia/Chrysler could have a good future there, but again it seems Fiat are not interested on making mass market brand again. But I just think that there is a gap between Fiat and Alfa/Maserati that Lancia/Chrysler can fill.

    • Carl Sloan

      Here’s an idea: Learn to read an article before making an irrelevant comment.

    • Merc1

      Exactly! Also, the Ghibli needs a V8 option and the Quattroporte could use a Ferrari V12 also. There is nothing compelling at Maserati outside of the new V8 versions of the Levante.

      M

    • Jason Panamera

      A lot of brands are doing such thing like parts sharing. Lambo and Bentley are using VW parts seen in Audi so…
      Maserati interiors are really nice. Been in Ghibli and Quattroporte few times, vehicles with 90k+ mileage . Glorious places to be with good quality. Didn’t see all these build quality fails which you can see on youtube or other services.

  • john1168

    I don’t know much about the Levante but I think it is one of the better looking SUV’s out there. If dealers in the US are overstocked and they’re not selling well, I wonder if there will be any deals on them?

  • Shobin Drogan

    We’ll make good cars and people will buy them. Majority of online reviews for Maseratis are not positive to say the least.

  • benT

    this should never have been planned or built.
    outside the scope of the company.

    • Nordschleife

      They would’ve been foolish to not build an SUV. They may have add issues at launch but it was definitely smart for them to create an SUV.

      • Mike anonymous

        I think the problem with the SUV is just that it was not the SUV many were expecting to see. Many were expecting something along the lines of the Kubang Concept. I also think that this SUV and the Kubang Concept were marketed/meant for two completely separate audiences.

        It was financially a smart decision to build an SUV. But I think who they were marketing this SUV downmarket rather than up (where most of their older long time (likely to want to own and are willing to pay for one) customers are).

        I also am not a fan of the design, but it seems that in the last 5 years Maserati has swapped their elegant curvaceous designs (with mixes of sharp elements here and there) for this aggressive sporty look. I think I would have been better if they designed, built, and marketed, this SUV to a more upscale market, because it’s a problem if I am comparing the SUV from a company I once considered to be up there with Ferrari, now next to Alfa Romeo’s SUV (and that I find the latter more desirable).

        • If you compare the second Kubang (Remember there are two concepts) to the Levante, I’d say they translate the Kubang much better, the concept was way too round. And could you explained on the two audiences?

          I’m not sure if you have seen them in real life, but Levante and Giulia, they had two different language, Levante has a lot of chromes and luxurious details while Giulia is rather rounded and sportier, again not saying your opinion was wrong but I think most people see it that way.

          • Mike anonymous

            I’m not sure if (instead of Giulia,) you meant Stelvio, If so, I get what you mean. Regarding, the Levante and the Stelvio they are both similar in, size, and comparable when it comes to styling, (and comparable on the luxury front as well). But the Maserati starts (in the US at least) around $30K-$40K above the Stelvio. When it comes to the Quadrifoglio (goodness I hope I spelled that right) model, they are comparable in style and performance.

            Nothing against Alfa Romeo Stelvio (because I love the vehicle personally more so than the Levante), but I just feel as though there’s a problem when a vehicle with a starting price of $40K can be comparable to a vehicle with a starting price of $70K (in luxury, styling, and performance). Idk,.. maybe that’s just me though.

            Also as for the two different audiences thing, I think the Kubang was meant just to be a sporty-like luxury vehicle (more so leaning to the luxury side), where the Levante seems to be aimed/marketed as a sporty, aggressive, luxury SUV.

          • That’s just show how similar Giulia and Stelvio are, But yeah that’s what FCA hopes for, Alfa to become their “sporty” brand and Maserati is their “luxury” brand in their premium line up, I think if they fixed the models right now, they could have this rather clever car ladder.

            We had to remember that they were conceived in different time, Marchionne hasn’t envisioned Alfa to become their premium sporty brand yet. But in my opinion Maserati should stick to luxury road cars, since that’s what they are known for during Orsi ownership. Citroen tried to bring more sporty out of the range, but they fall before it happened. Then De Tomaso era brings Maserati into mainstream luxury range and Fiat ownership just strengthen the luxury image of Maserati.

        • europeon

          The second Kubang concept was a design study. Quattroporte, Ghibli and Levante are its direct successors. I think what you’re remembering is the first Kubang and Buran concepts.

  • DR.FUNK

    Should’ve rolled out the Alfieri by now.

  • Bo Hanan

    Maserati is the red-headed step child that gets all the leftovers. From engines to interior pieces to platforms. 10+ year old designs don’t help either. And their SUV could easily be mistaken for an Infiniti. They should also be targeting JAG, Aston and Bentley.

    • Beside GranTurismo, 3 other models of Maserati is rather new, and really it’s not exactly a parts bin specials.

  • It’s hard job to align with Late Marchionne plan of Maserati selling 100.000 cars by five years. New models would help though but I think improving quality and customer service is a good step. Also tapping to some market like China.

    • europeon

      marchionne’s plan really diluted the brand and now it backfired. US market was flooded by entry level spec cars that dealers wanted so they could brag about selling Maseratis at BMW prices, and that really destroyed the luxury image Maserati had.

  • eye.surgeon

    Anyone recall why China is slashing import tariffs? Anyone? You won’t read headlines about it because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

    • Astonman

      Hate to break it to you but the “Fake News” did report it.

  • zion

    Should’ve rolled out the Alfieri by now.

  • GobbleUp

    Ho hum products that don’t fill a void.
    Great sounding engines from ferrari, but the rest is below par.
    Child please.

  • MarketAndChurch

    It’s because of the bad reviews.

    • Six_Tymes

      yep. shame, most of the bad reviews are over blown and exaggerated negativity, then regurgitated on sites like this one, take a look at some of the childish dumb posts here. this SUV is of of the best designs going. and quite reliable

      • GreenApple18r

        You are the most childish though. You are calling others dumb for not liking what you like. You really should take a big seat.

  • Anthony James

    Why is parts sharing an issue for FCA? The VW group not only gets away with it they’re commended for it!

    • KareKakk

      Maybe they just started at the wrong line… sure it’s nice to see Passat parts in your Polo, but having Fiesta parts in your Vantage or S-type back then was way more questionable for the owners. Had FCA made unique Maserati switch gears at first, and then spread them over their other brands, these complaints may have been avoided somehow.

      • Anthony James

        While I agree, VW gets away with not doing that, in cars which are completely opposite ends of the market. Indicator stalks in Porsche/ a8 also found in a seat ibiza? I blame the journalists for not calling them out – but hey, if you’re blacklisted by VAG PR you’ll have hardly anything to review- and half the holdays!

    • I wonder that myself, but in the end I think there is a bias in automotive news, some brands has been criticized in a matters that is not exclusive to them. I guess what people can do is to actually check it for themselves.

    • john1168

      I think it’s the stigma of “old Chrysler”. I think in many ways Chrysler is trying to overcome there old reputation. So some people are shocked to hear that Maserati’s are sharing some parts with Chrysler. Where as Audi has a much better reputation so using those parts in a Lamborghini is more acceptable.

  • driv3r

    The problem with FCA and especially Alfa Romeo and Maserati is that the build quality and the quality of the interior isn’t on par with the other car manufacturers they are targeting which namely are the four big Germans plus Porsche on the Maserati side. Also they are way too slowly rolling out their updated line-up. JLR has done a far better job of truly updating their hole range, taking the brand to a new level and even making progress on their old weak points such as infotainment and engines.
    I see that the Giulia is a good car (not perfect but solid) as is the Stelvio but these two aren’t simply enough. Plus: these two will age quickly as they aren’t featuring latest driver assistance systems and are lacking Matrix-LED lights, features that are simply necessary in the class they are competing or want to compete in.
    Maseratis case is even worse since their flagship coupe/cabriolet is an warmed up very old, very outdated design and car. An introduction of something sporty, new and desirable would’ve been a good start. (Again, its just what Jaguar did excellently: F-Type first, then XE, XF, F-Pace, E-Pace and so on…).
    FCA should be in a position to really push Alfa and Maserati since they are doing quite a good job at developing the Jeep brand with new models and an updated icon. How come they still haven’t been able to execute the plan for Alfa and Maserati (not even to speak about the main Fiat brand which is diluting day by day and Lancia which is pretty way off the market now). VW is showing for years how to successfully manage different brands and how to share technology. FCA needs to get their act together.

    • The difference is that Jaguar has source of money that basically allowed them to expand on their own way, that is resulted with small and in fact loss of money, Tata has only received profit in the past few years, while their profit margin is a bit low, but it’s not a problem for Tata. But in cash strapped FCA? you wish.

      • europeon

        Jaguar had Tata, Maserati had marchionne.

      • driv3r

        Which is true to some degree. With an all time low on credits there should’ve been enough room to get some financing done for FCA. In the long run FCA won’t profit from having about as good models on the market that just sell ok (or not even okay this year). Marchionnes goal of getting debt free had a higher priority than getting excellent cars done. Opportunity missed. Again. Don’t know how many times more FCA can survive that before it will be Jeep only.

  • Richard Alexander

    Orders plummeted 69% to China because the Chinese economy is in big trouble. See the peer-to-peer lending crisis. A lot of the Chinese buyers are ‘new money’ and care much more about brand name than the issues that car enthusiasts do. The wheels are falling off the ox cart….literally…

  • Andrewthecarguy

    This is it.
    The previous gen QP had a look to it that was uniquely Maserati and exotic at the same time.
    The current GB and QP just don’t move me.
    Levante is a mess.
    A Maserati needs to arrest your attention upon seeing it.

  • europeon

    What’s wrong with those Mercedes parts? They come from Mercedes, and if Mercedes decided they were good enough for $200k AMG cars, I think they’re good enough for Maserati.

    • Dude

      Other than the cheap wiper stalk not much really. There’s nothing wrong with parts sharing if the car still looks and feels nice but bespoke parts make a car feel special and luxurious and sharing can cheapen the image. I’m sure the Honda parts in the NSX feel good but you’d expect more in a 150k car.

      And are they current MB parts or parts from the Chrysler-MB partnership from the 2000s?

  • An Existing Person

    The Granturismo is the last “true” Maserati in my opinion. The Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante don’t seem to command the brand name as well as previous models have. Maserati to me have been vehicles that demand attention when you see them and inspire emotion. The newer models don’t seem to do that. Even the previous Quattroporte was something special, and it’s a shame to see it where it is now; heavily discounted from the dealerships and massive depreciation. I really hope they return to their old ways by finally giving us the Alferi or some halo car.

    • europeon

      Maserati’s history didn’t start with GranTurismo, it was just a phase. If we’re to look at the whole history, Ghibli and QP VI are more “true” than the GranTurismo.

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