Maserati to stall Alfieri launch?
Maserati may be stalling its development plans for the Alfieri coupe.
First unveiled two years ago in Geneva, the Alfieri was presented as a sleek 2+2 coupe that demonstrates the brand’s future design language. The company was not shy in labeling it a ‘more exclusive’ rival to the Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type.
An executive late in 2014 reportedly confirmed that the concept would spawn a production car of the same name, led by a hardtop coupe in 2016 and a convertible the following year. Maserati North Europe marketing head James Cowan suggested the new entry might not be a “big seller,” but would serve as an important halo vehicle.
Asked at the latest Geneva show to clarify if the Alfieri’s is still on track to debut this year, brand chief Harald Wester dodged the inquiry with a “no comment” response, according to Motoring.
“The next one will be substitution of GranTursimo, GranCabrio by successors,” he added. “We already had discussion about Alfieri and I don’t want to go into details.”
The Alfieri concept was unveiled after a year of high gasoline prices and entering a year of extreme growth for the company, with 2014 sales up by 171 percent in the US. The subsequent falloff in gas prices has encouraged FCA to shuffle resources from cars to SUVs. The brand is also exiting a lackluster sales year as US deliveries shrank by 9.6 percent in 2015.
The Levante has taken an increasingly important role in Maserati’s ambitious plan to reach 75,000 global sales by 2018, more than doubling its 2015 numbers. It is unclear if decision-makers put the Alfieri on the back burner to help fast-track the Levante. Now running a few years behind schedule, the SUV was initially expected to borrow a Jeep platform before the company changed tack and moved forward with a “100 percent Maserati” build.
Separate reports last year suggested FCA stalled at least a dozen new or redesigned models across several brands, including Maserati, as it courted potential merger partners. The company has not yet succeeded in finding a suitor to help share development costs.