Maserati is one of the most famous names in car manufacturing, and has always had its niche, which nobody expected to change. However, the company seems to be coming Americanized, to the surprise of many observers and industry insiders. Partly, this is because many car companies are consolidating, which is the only way they can survive in today’s often competitive and uncertain economic climate. Maserati’s parent company of Fiat has announced plans to merge with the American car company, Chrysler. Developing and marketing a luxury Maserati SUV in Detroit is the first project that both companies will be involved in.
Of course, part of the appeal of the Maserati brand is that the cars have always been produced in Italy, a country well known for its sense of design, and the word Italy tends to evoke style and elegance. The US has always produced fine cars, but nothing with the allure of some of the Italian cars. Fiat announced that the new luxury vehicle would be made on the underpinnings of a Jeep model, specifically the Grand Cherokee, and the news came as something of a shock to many people. Based on the costs of other Maserati cars, you can probably expect to pay at least $100,000, and probably more than that. However the Grand Cherokee retails for around $30,000 so it does not really seem compatible with the more luxurious Maserati name.
A reason for this venture was given by the CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, when he explained that driving a Jeep across the United States was a wonderful experience, and would be even better with a luxury car. More expensive cars often use the underpinnings of cheaper models, so this arrangement is not unusual and Fiat points out that the other materials will come from the usual Maserati sources. A Maserati SUV may be just what is needed to keep the company strong, despite the fact that the merger is unexpected, to say the least.