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    Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    LOS ANGELES—Chrysler Group LLC, which is trying to turn itself around with the help of its partner Fiat SpA, has plans to cooperate with the Italian company's super-luxury brand Maserati.

    In 2013, Chrysler will begin producing a premium sport-utility vehicle to be sold as a Maserati in markets around the world, according to Sergio Marchionne, who serves as chief executive of both Chrysler and Fiat.

    The Maserati vehicle will be made from the underpinnings of Chrysler's new Jeep Grand Cherokee and be assembled at its Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit, Mr. Marchionne said in an interview at the Los Angeles auto show.

    "This is just a great architecture," Mr. Marchionne said. "Why wouldn't I put a Maserati on it?"

    The plan signals a broadening of the cooperation between Chrysler and Fiat, which has management control of the American auto maker and owns 20% of its stock.

    Under Mr. Marchionne's turnaround plan for Chrysler, the company is preparing to launch a series of small cars based on vehicles developed by Fiat. It will also produce Fiat models that will be sold in the U.S., and help return Fiat's Alfa Romeo brand to the U.S. market.

    A few Chrysler models are also supposed to be sold outside of North America under Fiat's Lancia brand. The first will be the redesigned Chrysler 200 midsized sedan, Mr. Marchionne said.

    Cooperation between Chrysler and Maserati would add a new dimension to the ties between the U.S. auto maker and Fiat at a time when Chrysler is starting preparations for a possible public offering of stock in 2011.

    On Friday, the Obama administration's auto czar, Ron Bloom, said it is unclear if the company will be ready for an IPO next year. But he added that "the company is on a good trajectory."

    Mr. Bloom also said Mr. Marchionne briefs U.S. Treasury officials once or twice a month and gives notice on major decisions. The U.S. government financed Chrysler's restructuring in bankruptcy court last year, and is a minority shareholder in the auto maker.

    Chrysler reported a net loss of $84 million for the third quarter but made money on an operating basis. Mr. Bloom said Chrysler's financial performance has bested expectations and efforts to rejuvenate the company's product line—considered a critical weakness—appear to be going well.

    "Our view on Chrysler at the moment is so far so good," Mr. Bloom said in an interview.

    The Maserati will be built alongside the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, possibly creating the need to hire workers for a third shift at the Chrysler plant, Mr. Marchionne said.

    Maserati, which was acquired by Fiat in 1993, is known for luxury sport sedans and sells such models as the Quattroporte along with the GranTurismo coupe and convertible. Maserari models start at $118,000, well above the Grand Cherokee's starting price of $30,000.

    Mr. Marchionne first hinted at using the the Grand Cherokee architecture to produce other vehicles during a conference call earlier this month.

    "It would certainly give us a unique opportunity to try and use all the amount of work that's gone on inside Chrysler," he said in a conference call to discuss Chrysler's third-quarter results. The basic architecture of the Grand Cherokee is "capable of supporting the content of a much higher-priced brand as Alfa or Maserati."

    The new Grand Cherokee was launched last summer and has been well received by auto critics and dealers. The vehicle was developed in cooperation with Daimler AG, which owned Chrysler until 2007. The same architecture that Chrysler uses for the Grand Cherokee is also used by Daimler for its SUV, the M-Class, made in Alabama.

     


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

     Great News! And I can see this highly successful! 


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    ouch...not sure that is a good thing


    --
    Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... That's what gets you.

    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    I agree with Lars, I think good things will come from this joint venture.


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

     Let see is like that. There is lots of SUV know how in the US. The weakness was kind of the interior design and choice of materials they used on the Jeep. But being fair - this happens due to the cut budget of a Jeep. In sense of outdoor performance and roughness, the Jeep is one of its best. Building and Maserati SUV you would wish to have this outdoor capabilities paired with luxurious materials and high end finishing as well as a strong engine. The engine will be found anywhere in the Maserati shelves, the outdoor capabilities at Jeep and the finishing should be done with a glimpse if you can play with a Maserati budget. That thing will be successful!

     


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    FAIL 


    --

    indeed shifting is ancient technology - so is a fuel burning engine..  I happen to like both :) 


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    Why?

    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    The SUV era is coming to an end. It's got a good market share now, but we'll see these new sporty options like 5GT that will provide the same benefits of a traditional SUV.

    Two, why a Maserati SUV? It just doesn't feel right given their tradition. Same could be said for Porsche before the Cayenne, but at least Porsche has had off-road experience and some Dakar wins and stuff.


    --

    indeed shifting is ancient technology - so is a fuel burning engine..  I happen to like both :) 


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    Jeeps are the original off road vehicle and the Cherokee is a very capable platform. If you put a Maserati design on that chassis you'd have an interesting combo for sure. I think it would work.


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    JoeRockhead:

    Jeeps are the original off road vehicle and the Cherokee is a very capable platform. If you put a Maserati design on that chassis you'd have an interesting combo for sure. I think it would work.


    What is interesting about this prospect however, is that Porsche has downgraded the off-road ability of the new Cayenne by ditching the low range transfer case.  They did so because their market research proved that less than 5% of owners ever drove on roads difficult/steep enough to use it - undoubtedly the correct decision for their market and it helped them reduce weight.    And I cannot see that owners of  a Maserati would be any more likely than Porsche Cayenne owners to drive on roads or trails that really need the Jeep AWD drivetrain.  Most owners really only want  a) a higher driving position, and  b) very  occasional extra traction in snow conditions (or perhaps beach sand in Australia)... which part time, single gear range AWD can easily provide. 

    In the AWD field I am increasingly finding myself respecting the approach of Land Rover believe it or not; they have stayed fairly true to their long roots in AWD vehicles, from long before there was  a category called SUV. 


    --

    2010 Audi S5,  2009 Porsche 911S


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    Land Rovers are true off-roaders. The others are, well, SUV's....


    --
    Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... That's what gets you.

    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    intouch1:

    Land Rovers are true off-roaders. The others are, well, SUV's....

    I agree with you. You forget Land Cruisers. Although i effing hate them but those bad boys can really off-road!


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    My vote goes to this one as the perfect off-roader.

    154988_461204970993_78129600993_5741490_4568638_n.jpg

    PS: Don't ask how my female friend got it stuck.... Poor car.


    --

    indeed shifting is ancient technology - so is a fuel burning engine..  I happen to like both :) 


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    intouch1:

    Land Rovers are true off-roaders. The others are, well, SUV's....

     

    Jeeps are true off roaders. Go to any rock climb, mud bog, sand rally etc. and you'll see plenty of Jeeps. The Grand Cherokee has always been an acclaimed platform and vehicle.

    I think this is relatively good match-up. People may frown and turn up their nose, but for 3+ years the best selling Porsche has been the Cayenne.

    Additionally, if a VW can be a Porsche - why can't a Jeep be a Maserati. Smiley


    --

    ...the only thing stopping you in all likelihood, is you!


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    Heist:

    Jeeps are true off roaders.

    Additionally, if a VW can be a Porsche - why can't a Jeep be a Maserati. Smiley

     

    Jeeps, did you say Jeeps Heist -  you must have missed this -  http://www.rennteam.com/forum/thread/20177326/Re_Range_Rover_Sport/page1.html#p20177326

    and why can't a jeep be a maserati - because to a some here it has the taint of made in USA. On the Cadillac 16 thread, the coolest engine and the best looking mid-engine design I have ever seen and not a peep from a euro.

    And no offense to ATZ's lady friend Smiley but I have always said that mercedes is the ugliest box on wheels. But it's a mercedes and over priced so it has to be good.

     

    Put a HEMI in a Jeep Wrangler 4 door and nothing beats it for looks, performance, or price.Smiley

     


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    There are not many true off Road SUVs left.

    • Mercedes G
    • Land Rover (all models)
    • Jeep (the 4 runners)

    All of them come with low speed and off road gear box. Neither of the so favorite SUVs like X5, M Class or Cayenne offers this. 

    You want an off roader only - take a jeep, you want a luxury Cruiser with those capabilities get an Land Rover. As simple as that!


    Re: Michigan Built, Jeep Based Maserati SUV Coming in 2013

    probably they try to become the only alternative for a Range Rover.... off-road capabilities plus brand recognition...


    --

    There is no try. Just do.


     
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