The Maserati SUV is one of the most talked about cars in the past few months. Virtually everything about it is controversial, from the chassis to the engine, and especially what it means for the Italian brand’s heritage. A concept version of luxury SUV is widely expected to be revealed at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany. We already know that it will share a lot with Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, but according to Automotive News sources, this will also include the workers that put it together. That’s because it will reportedly be built a Chrysler Group's Jefferson North assembly plant. There’s no question this is a clear departure from Italian heritage, but Sergio Marchionne wants to combine Fiat and Chrysler’s strengths for a bit of extra profit. "The important point is that whatever Maserati we launch will be a product that respects the entire heritage, image, characteristics, and customer expectations of this brand," Harald Wester, Maserati's CEO, said in a March interview. "What ends up in the dealer shops should be 100 percent Maserati." Fiat Group is taking a huge calculated risk here, but it could pay off in a big way if they get the product right from the start. Profit margins are usually much higher for SUV, as customers have a tendency to fit all the bells and whistles in order to make theirs stand out or be more comfortable. In addition, Porsche sales of the Cayenne were amazing last month, accounting for half of the total, while the 911 slipped due to the new model’s expected arrival in Frankfurt. autoevolution will be attending the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, so stay tuned for some real up close and personal shots of the vehicles, as well as for first-hand details of the motorized contraptions presented at the event.
Maserati's Luxury SUV to Be Built at Chrysler's Jefferson North Plant
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.