Maserati Lineup Will Never Go All Electric, U.S. Boss Says

Maserati is getting help. FCA’s Italian luxury brand struggled in the first quarter of 2019, but the brand is getting additional sales and marketing help globally, FCA CEO Mike Manley told investors today on a call to report first-quarter earnings.

Maserati shipments were down 41 percent, and net revenue fell 38 percent in the first three months. That’s on top of a 28 percent drop in sales in 2018. Those numbers are not a good trajectory for a brand that FCA’s five-year plan designated as a key pillar of the group’s future growth and success.

But improvements are coming in the second half of the year under new brand chief Harald Wester, who is also the company’s chief technology officer. And the brand is regaining momentum, said Manley, even as it awaits new products and battles the headwinds of slowing auto sales in China.

The Maserati lineup will be replaced by the end of 2022, and the brand will add two new vehicles. The first piece is a new sports car that will be shown at the 2020 Geneva auto show, said Al Gardner, head of Maserati North America. Also coming is a midsize crossover to slot under the full-size Levante and compete in the fast-growing segment.

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.