Maserati ‘Kicking around the idea’ of a smaller SUV

Recently we have heard from FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne that it’s luxury car brand Maserati is considering a smaller SUV to the current Levante. In the past FCA have spoke about staying clear of any brand cannibalism between the likes of Alfa Romeo and Maserati, however speaking this week at the LA Motor Show, Maserati global head Reid Bigland, who also runs the FCA sister division Alfa Romeo, seems to be suggesting that a smaller Levante could indeed be on the radar.

Currently enjoying it’s best sales year in the Italian car company’s 100-year history, largely thanks to the Levantes’ success, the sporty SUV has helped drive units to record highs, set to account for up to 50% of Maserati’s sales, Bigland said during a chat at the AutoMobility LA portion of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

It comes as no surprise given this that, the luxury car maker is seriously considering a second SUV. Bigland said he does not foresee any larger Levante on the horizon, but he did not rule out the possibility of something smaller than the current version, something that might join the Alfa Romeo Stelvio in the smaller-SUV category. “I don’t think there will be a Levante Sr.,” Bigland said. “As for Levante Jr., I think we have that space covered by Alfa Romeo. But is there room in the market for a premium midsize Levante? We’re kicking it around.”

Bigland said the Levante, in addition to adding sales, is also proving a conquest vehicle for the company. Car buyers who are cross-shopping Porsche’s Cayenne or Range Rover’s are becoming Maserati customers, most of them coming to the brand for the first time. “We have not recklessly chased volume,” Bigland said. “We don’t need to take Maserati down to the $30,000 (£22k)  price point to chase customers. We can do that with other products.

Currently displaying their model range at the LA Motor Show, Maserati has used the show to display the 2018 model year Ghibli and Levante, now sold in GranLusso and GranSport trims. The luxury car maker also announced in LA that electric power steering has replaced the hydraulic power steering system of the Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante.

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