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Maserati Alfieri, Alfa Romeo 8C Lead Revival of FCA’s Premium Brands

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Maserati and Alfa Romeo contingency do better. The reward Italian brands join Jeep and Ram as a tellurian brands that FCA is relying on for profitability in a new five-year business devise that will take a automaker by 2022. Other brands, including Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, and SRT, have a obtuse and some-more informal role, accounting for usually 20 percent of sales.

Whereas Jeep and Ram broach large sales and profits, Maserati and Alfa have unsuccessful to accommodate past targets. Ensuring they accommodate their new expectations is a pursuit of new code trainer Tim Kuniskis, who has hold a tellurian arch pursuit for usually 4 months. His final pursuit was handling a smaller newcomer automobile brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, and SRT).

In a initial sit-down with a tellurian arch given FCA expelled a five-year devise in Italy final month, Kuniskis tells Motor Trend what he needs to do to beget 500,000 annual tellurian sales of a dual brands by 2022, 400,000 from Alfa and 100,000 from Maserati.


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Tim Kuniskis

Step one: boost awareness. “Average business don’t know what a brands are before they buy them,” Kuniskis said.

So what are they? Alfa is a pristine sports automobile brand. Maserati is a premium, bespoke, custom, exclusive, grand furloughed brand, ideal for pushing prolonged distances quick and in comfort.

Maserati is affordable

Let’s start with Maserati. Look for small things from a start, like holding down a blockade that surrounds a Maserati vaunt during automobile shows, Kuniskis says. It sends a wrong message.

“People have a certain notice of Maserati though also consider it costs $120,000,” Kuniskis says. “They don’t know that we have an SUV. They don’t know that that SUV starts during $75,000,” that he records is cheaper than a $100,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. “They consider a Jeep’s affordable, a Maserati isn’t.”

Step two: product expansion. Maserati skeleton a uninformed lineup that takes approach aim during Porsche and a appropriate during Tesla.

“Porsche is a healthy rivalry of Maserati,” Kuniskis says. So Maserati is environment itself adult opposite a full Porsche lineup, reduction a 718, that it has no idea of matching.

The whole Maserati lineup will be transposed by 2022, and all models will be electrified with 8 plug-in variety and 4 pristine battery electric vehicles planned. The GranTurismo coupe and GranCabrio automobile will be transposed by a new Alfieri coupe and convertible, and a lineup will supplement a D-segment crossover to container subsequent a Levante.

Maserati has a absolute weapon: a protected agreement with Ferrari to yield powertrains including combustion, amiable hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and Maserati Blue full battery electric powerplants from Maranello. “Ferrari is my source of powertrains. Being means to strictly contend that will afterwards interpret all a approach down to a salon floor,” says Kuniskis.

Levante family grows

The Levante now accounts for some-more than half of Maserati’s sales, though it is not assembly a expectations of a boss, FCA authority and CEO Sergio Marchionne. A priority is to re-launch a Levante lineup with some-more variants to go conduct to conduct with Porsche’s Cayenne family.

For a 2019 indication year there will be a walkup from a bottom $77,500 Levante to a $88,500 Levante S, a new $121,500 GTS, and a disdainful top-end $171,500 Trofeo.

The Trofeo will be low volume. The strange devise was to sell about 150 examples, though they’re already sole out for a year, so Maserati might make more. Many of a sales were done during an eventuality for owners in a spring, on a eve of a 2018 New York automobile show, before a SUV was denounced a subsequent day. The Trofeo’s twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 is hand-assembled by Ferrari in Maranello and packs 590 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

The new GTS has a same engine though usually generates 550 hp and is labelled to contest with a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Kuniskis said.

By a finish of 2022 there will be a battery-electric Levante as good as a plug-in hybrid that could use a complement grown for a Chrysler Pacifica. The electric Levante will take on a Tesla Model X. “I like to collect healthy enemies,” pronounced Kuniskis.

Macan-fighter pivotal to code growth

The biggest impact on a code will be a further of a smaller crossover to contest with a Porsche Macan. “Maserati needs a DUV; that’s where a volume is in a U.S. and China,” Kuniskis said. The midsize crossover will arrive prolonged before a 2022 indication year, though Kuniskis would not yield accurate timing, nor would he endorse it will share Alfa’s Giorgio height (Giulia, Stelvio). It will have pushing dynamics, all-wheel drive, and a Ferrari powertrain. He expects it to comment for half of Maserati’s volume, in most a same approach a Macan was pivotal to Porsche doubling a sales over 5 or 6 years. It is a usually Maserati in a lineup that will be offering as a plug-in hybrid though not a battery electric vehicle.

“All a cars we have currently are removing a modernise and a mint version,” Kuniskis says. That includes a Quattroporte to improved contest opposite a Porsche Panamera, and a electric Quattroporte goes adult opposite a Tesla Model S.

Alfieri is new halo car

Then there’s a Alfieri, a electrified automobile that will offer as a halo for a brand. There will be a hardtop and a convertible, with an aluminum space support and all-wheel drive. It will be offering as a plug-in hybrid and a full battery electric underneath a Maserati Blue umbrella. The space support is not being common with any other vehicles. Alfieri takes on a Porsche 911 as good as Tesla’s roadster.

“There’s certain places that we won’t go,” Kuniskis said. “Maserati’s not going to go down and do a C [compact car].” And nonetheless a lineup will be aligned with Porsche, “We’re not going to do a 718. There’s no room for a 718-fighter in Maserati. So there’s certain things that we won’t do.”

8C tops Alfa Romeo lineup

Alfa aims to offer a pristine sports automobile of any segment, including SUVs. The code halo is a 8C with a mid-mounted twin-turbo V-6 and electric motor, CO fiber monocoque body, and aluminum subframe.

“To make a purest sports automobile brand, we need a 8C. You positively need that. You’re not going to sell a lot of them, and it’s going to be a tough business case, there’s no question. But there’s a lot of value in that car,” pronounced Kuniskis. “So we built that car, and that becomes your inspirational automobile from that to pull styling and technology. Over 700 horsepower. It’s a aspirational halo. Low volume.”

Slotting underneath it is a new GTV, a four-passenger coupe with all-wheel drive. Sharing a framework and powertrains with a Giulia, this is a 600-hp sports automobile that some-more people can drive.

By 2022 Alfa will have forsaken a 4C as good as a little MiTo that was never sole in a U.S. It will keep a rest of a existent lineup though enhance a crossover offerings to embody a compress CUV smaller than a midsize Stelvio and an E-segment crossover incomparable than Stelvio.

Stelvio and Giulia get refreshes and long-wheelbase versions for China. Giulietta gets a refresh, as well. It has not been sole in a U.S. in a past, and there are no indications that will change.

Most of a models in a lineup will get plug-in hybrid variants. There are no pristine electric vehicles designed for Alfa.

Kuniskis is blunt about what a code contingency do. “We need to perform what we promised.” The final five-year devise in 2014 foresee tellurian sales of 700,000 and 8 new vehicles by 2018. “We didn’t do any of those things,” he says. “We sole 150,000 with dual [models].”

Alfa suffered from bad timing, says a new code chief. It will still accommodate a idea of 400,000 tellurian sales, though not until 2022. Kuniskis is assured volume will go adult as some-more products are added. And he says Alfa did broach on a guarantee of a world-class product on a world-class platform. The Alfa Romeo Giulia was a 2018 Motor Trend Car of a Year.

Kuniskis pronounced Alfa needs a 8C, GTV, and dual new crossovers to enhance a range, accommodate a commitments, and for dealers who “invested millions of dollars in these brands and utterly honestly, for 18 to 24 months, they’re offered 4Cs.”

Maserati and Alfa removing cozier

Look for a dual brands to get closer in a future, generally during a dealership level. It varies by region. In a U.S., for a duration of time, Alfa and Fiat common dealerships, and in 2011 a devise was to have stand-alone Fiat dealerships. But a association came to comprehend it done some-more clarity to put Maserati and Alfa together and pile Fiat in with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram. There will still be cases where Ferrari is interconnected with Alfa or Maserati. The idea is to span Alfa and Maserati in China, as well. In Europe, Alfa is with Jeep, that is positioned as a reward brand.

With a additional nameplates planned, a brands will cover about 71 percent of a reward industry, Kuniskis said.

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