Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed that their Mirafiori factory is slated to start building the Maserati Levante SUV as soon as next year.
Marchionne told Reuters "We are getting Mirafiori ready for production [of the Maserati Levante SUV]. The first bodies are expected for 2015," on the sidelines of the Geneva Motor Show. "The platforms and motors are there. Technically, production could start in 24-28 months."
The concept formerly known as the "Kubang" (hehe) was originally slated to be built in the US, but a labor deal struck last year mandated it would be constructed in Italy.
The bean counters at Chrysler are pleased with Maserati's recent turn-around; the Trident-badged brand more than doubled sales last year moving 15,400 vehicles. But the appetites of their corporate overlords have only just been tantalized. Maserati's sales target for 2015 is 50,000 vehicles.
How's a boutique brand of semi-exotic automobiles going to do that? Well, pushing the bargain-priced Ghibli sedan could be a good start. But nothing wins over the masses like SUVs, and I can't say I'm terribly surprised that Chrysler wants Maserati to start cranking out this Chevy Equinox with funky headlights and a concave grille as soon as possible.