Fiat to launch high end Maserati sports car in India
The Italian car conglomerate Fiat has shifted to top gear and is positively upbeat about the Indian market. Now it seems Fiat also plans to capture the luxury markets by introducing a high end Maserati sports car in India and thus establish itself firmly at various levels. The decision came in the wake of a visit by Maserati team to India to assess market potential. Fiat plans to open more exclusive Fiat showrooms across the country backed by service network, starting with dealerships in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. While these are rumors gleaned from sources that do not wish to be named, Nagesh Basavanhalli, President and Managing Director of Fiat Chrysler India said that it is too soon to state definitely whether Maserati will vroom on Indian roads in the near future. Discussions, he said, are still going on. Fiat, it must be remembered, pushed back plans to launch Chrysler jeeps in India from 2014 to 2015, opting to introduce its sedans and luxury cars instead.
The Maserati range includes Gran Turismo coupe, Ghibli Sedan, Quattroporte and the GranCabrio. The last is priced at Rs. 1.5 to 3 crores bringing it in direct competition with Bentley, Lamborghini and Aston Martin. Sales of ultraluxurious cars in India account for only 1000 units but still represent a sizeable market for exclusive brands like Maserati and Lamborghini that are produced in small quantities.
The Maserati brothers started the brand that changed ownership over the years until it came to Fiat in 1993. The brand languished until Fiat sold 50% of its share to Ferrari that ultimately took control in 1999. Ferrari disengaged the clutch with Maserati, branching it off to Alfa Romeo in 2005 that partnered Abarth group under Fiat control. It was not until 2007 that Maserati started making profits, now back under Fiat. For fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth are the top of the line luxury brands. The Ghibli sports the same engine as the larger Quattroporte and competes directly with Mercedes E class and BMW Series 5 cars. It is also an alternative to the Porsche and Audi A7 luxury sports sedans. One can speculate that this is the model most likely to set wheels first on Indian roads. If German cars are about reliability and class, Italian cars are all about panache and verve and there will be takers for exquisite Italian styling married to power in the Maseratis.
Source : Economictimes