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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Italian Stock Exchange  >  Fiat SpA    FIA   IT0001976403

FIAT SPA

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Maserati sees sales topping 35,000 this year

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10/02/2014 | 10:15am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) - Maserati expects to sell more than 35,000 cars this year and reach its 50,000 sales target in 2015, subject to the availability of a new sport utility vehicle (SUV) to be launched late next year, the head of the brand said on Thursday.

"For the end of the year we will be significantly beyond 35,000, but not beyond 40,000," Harald Wester told Reuters in an interview. Maserati sold 15,400 vehicles in 2013.

Wester said the brand was still on track to launch the much awaited Maserati Levante SUV by the end of next year. It plans to build at least 25,000 of the Levante per year from 2016.

The revival of the luxury Maserati brand is a key part of owner Fiat's (>> Fiat SpA) drive to return to profit in Europe, along with the relaunch of the Alfa Romeo marque.

Maserati's product offensive is the most ambitious yet for the Italian brand founded a century ago in Bologna by five brothers and which Fiat bought in 1993.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Paris auto show, Wester said the idea of keeping annual Maserati sales capped at 75,000 -- a level it hopes to reach by 2018 -- still stood, but he "would not be dogmatic about it".

"The core of the message was: Maserati will remain an exclusive brand," he said. "We will not offer a product below the Ghibli (sedan), we will not compete on price as other people are doing. Volume is not the most important parameter for the business."

He said the number of dealers selling Maserati products would grow by another 100 from the current 354 by the end of 2015 and that should be sufficient to sell the product, even at future levels of around 75,000.

The brand's current line-up includes the four-door GranTurismo sedan, the Quattroporte and the compact, lower-priced Ghibli. After the Levante SUV, the company has promised the Alfieri, a sporty two-seater, which will also come in a cabriolet version.

The United States remains Maserati’s main market, closely followed by China, which is also the biggest market for its Quattroporte model.

Wester, who also looks after Alfa Romeo for the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, said the company would "work very hard" to get close to last year's sales figures for the sporty Alfas of 74,000.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Mark Potter)


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Managers
NameTitle
Michael Mark Manley President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
John Jacob Philip Elkann Chairman
Richard Keith Palmer Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Harald J. Wester Chief Technology Officer
Andrea Agnelli Non-Executive Director
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