Wednesday, Apr 25th

LATEST:
You are here: Business Business Maserati to arrive late to crowded luxury SUV party

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

Maserati to arrive late to crowded luxury SUV party

maseratiFRANKFURT--As competitors gear up to put on display new luxury sport utility vehicles at the Frankfurt auto show, Maserati keeps its fans waiting a little longer as it makes final tweaks to a model meant to reverse falling sales of the Italian brand.
  Bentley's Bentayga and Jaguar's F-Pace will be shown in Frankfurt and deliveries of Tesla's electric Model X are due to start in two weeks.
  The love affair with SUVs and their higher ground clearance have also prompted Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce to seek to compete in the popular segment. Forecaster IHS Automotive expects global sales of premium and luxury SUVs to grow by more than 40 percent to 1.4 million vehicles between 2008 and 2018. Overall SUV sales are expected to triple to more than 25 million over that period.
  "With gas prices low, it's a good time to launch an SUV... my only concern is that Maserati may get lost in the clutter because there are so many luxury crossovers coming out at the same time," said Lincoln Merrihew, an industry consultant at Millward Brown Digital.
  Set for a 2015 launch according to a growth plan announced last year, the Maserati Levante SUV is now expected to debut by the end of the first quarter of 2016, most likely at the Geneva auto show in March.
  Workers at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, northern Italy, are preparing for commercial production which Sergio Marchionne, chief executive at Maserati parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), expects to start by January.  "It's a complex car and we need to test it before launching it," Marchionne said this month.
  A Maserati SUV has been in the making for more than a decade since the first concept was presented in 2003.  Maserati hopes the Levante will help it emulate the success of Porsche, which set the standard for multiplying sales of an expensive brand without damaging the exclusive image that reaps big profits.
  Marchionne is betting Maserati can still offer something unique: Italian design and engines made by sister brand Ferrari.
  Key to Levante's success will be its reception in North America, home to 40 percent of Maserati's sales last year. Maserati has a strong image in the United States, combining a recognised racing heritage with Italian luxury, said Jane Nakagawa, managing director at U.S.-based product and market strategy consultancy Portia Consulting.
  "The chances are always good for luxury brands that don't have to sell a lot of cars," she said.
  Analysts expect the Levante to cover a price range of between 70,000-140,000 euros ($79,051-$158,102), similar to Porsche's Cayenne, but wonder whether the Maserati SUV will stand out sufficiently to match the success of its German rival, especially as it comes more than a decade later. Marchionne is counting on the Levante to halt a fall in Maserati sales in recent quarters.
  They fell 11 percent in the first half of the year as higher sales in Europe failed to offset weaker demand from China and the United States. "(The Levante) will certainly change the earnings generation capability of Maserati," he said. "We need to wait until then."
  The brand's profitability was also hit by worse pricing arrangements for imported vehicles in China and as customers turned to the entry-level Ghibli model at the expense of the higher-margin Quattroporte Coupe. Its operating margin, the rate of underlying profit on its sales, fell to 7 percent in the first six months from 8.7 percent a year earlier.
  IHS analyst Ian Fletcher said the SUV will do "reasonably well and it may prove better than the Quattroporte purely because customers increasingly (are making the) transition to SUVs."
  But Maserati will struggle to meet its goal of growing brand sales nearly five-fold to 75,000 between 2013-18, analysts said. IHS sees Maserati selling just under 48,000 vehicles in 2018, with the Levante contributing around 17,200 vehicles at peak.
  The performance at Maserati is watched for clues about the potential success of a revamp at sister brand Alfa Romeo which is seen as even more crucial to FCA's global expansion plan. Alfa's first new model, the Giulia sedan, will be shown at the Frankfurt auto show.
  "If Maserati serves as a template for FCA's rejuvenation efforts at Alfa Romeo it is worth noting that Maserati's own renaissance seems to have run out of steam after just 24 months," said Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst at Evercore ISI.

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...