The only new Maserati model we know to be in the works at all is an upcoming hybrid version of the Alfieri concept from all the way back in 2014, but the brand now wants to get out ahead of itself and promise that its future isn’t only electric.
Al Gardner, Maserati’s North American boss, spoke to Motor Trend about the direction the company is headed:
Maserati will have a full suite of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles by the end of 2022 but has not released what form of electrification each model will get. Maserati will never go all electric. “This is a brand that needs combustion engines. It needs that raw emotion,” Gardner said.
In his eyes, the problem is not with product, but product awareness. The Levante SUV, launched three years ago, still has only 22 percent awareness and competes against performance SUVs with three times that awareness, Gardner tells MotorTrend. Maserati needs to get on people’s radar, and Gardner is convinced a test drive will make the driver fall in love with the Levante, especially the new 550-hp GTS and 590-hp Trofeo with the Ferrari V-8.
Gardner also talked about returning Maserati to its racing roots, which probably has something to do with Ferrari supplying Maserati with all of its future powertrains going forward. It may be less about the heritage and more about not having to spend money on Maserati developing its own stuff.
Just pop powertrains you already have in a body that doesn’t cost as much as a Ferrari, and you seem to have a fairly solid business case.
But the brand has a lot to deal with going forward, with Motor Trend reporting a rough start to the year for Maserati. First quarter shipments were down 41 percent and net revenue dropped 38 percent. Last year, sales dropped 28 percent. All of that is a lot of decline for a brand that’s still supposedly going places.
Mike Manley, the new CEO of FCA, the umbrella company behind Maserati, has previously promised to treat the company as a flagship luxury brand after years of neglect from previous executives who were more focused on the other brands of the company.
Motor Trend reports that the aging Maserati lineup will be replaced by 2022, alongside the new sports car and a new mid-size crossover. But none of that will really help if they don’t solve that product awareness problem.