Maserati needs to make major moves if it wants to hit Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne's aggressive sales target. Marchionne wants to see a tenfold increase in Maserati sales, and one of the models that will help him get there is a new sedan, presumably the next-generation Quattroporte. Actually, make that two different sedans, because Marchionne is prepping luxury sleds both small and large.
Sergio Marchionne is looking to expand the Fiat Group empire, and one of Mr. M's plans is to bringing more Maserati vehicles into the world. And we're not talking about a small jump in sales either. Marchionne wants to expand Maserati sales tenfold.
With all the mergers and acquisitions going on in the automotive industry these days, few corporate structures have been as tumultuous as that of Fiat. The Italian group was once very centralized, but recently, it split its divisions into quasi-autonomous subsidiaries, then it stepped in and took the reins at Chrysler, and is now it is splitting itself into two distinct groups.
With the unification of Fiat and Chrysler, we're been expecting major changes in the corporate structure of the two automakers and their various brands. Most recently, Lancia chief executive Olivier Francois was named head of the Chrysler division, leading to reports that the two brands – similarly positioned in the sub-luxury premium segment – will be integrated into one unit. Now similar reports place the Abarth, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands under common leadership.
Lancia di Lancia launches in Venice – Click either image for high-res image gallery
Luca de Meo was charting a course to rise to the top of the Fiat group, but if reports emanating from Europe are accurate, he's changed directions as the promising young auto executive has reportedly left Fiat to become the new head of marketing for the Volkswagen group.
With second quarter results made all the more remarkable by the overall weakness in the European auto market, the Fiat Group blew by analysts' forecasts to post a $831.9 million quarterly profit, up 83 percent from last year's results in the same period.